Archives for the month of: January, 2013

BluestarAmsonia ciliata

Forb/herb, perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  April, blue, white, blue

Nectar attracts insect pollinators and butterflies.  Have not been able to confirm if it attracts the oleander or polka-dot  moth (Synfomeida epilais) larva.  If you see an orange caterpillar with tuffs of hair at each section and black dots, please enter on comments and date you saw it.

Location:  On bluff, by pavilion, Womack Creek Camp site.  Do not enter beyond the fenced area.

In 2013 no indication of this plant was seen on the bluff which is rapidly falling into the Ochlockonee River.

P1010173P1010015Ranunculus hispidus Michx var nitidus (Chapm)

Forb/herb; perennial

Native: L48, Canada

Blooming:  February, March, April, yellow

In late February and March, the buttercups can be found blooming at the landing, but they also bloom  profusely on the river banks which jut out sufficiently into the river to give the plants sun.   The blossoms on the plants at the landing usually are on short stems, the blossom stems are one feet long.

Common to marshy places, Ranunculus hispidus is a highly variable species, known also as bachelor button, blister plant, butter daisy, crazy weed, crowfoot, gold knot, marsh buttercup, pilewort, rough buttercup, spearwort, swamp crowfoot, three-leaved buttercup, three-leaved crowfood and wood buttercup.

What follows is attributed to the species generally, and may not apply to the Womack Creek variant.  The flowers are open only on sunny days and close at night and on rainy days.  The flowers are pollinated by  little carpenter, mason,  halictid & andrenid bees, skipper butterflies, flies and beetles.   Except for the bees which collect the pollen and the beetles which feed on the pollen, the insects suck the nectar.   Depending on its growth cycle, the foliage can be toxic particularly to mammalian herbivores.    Seeds are eaten by wild turkey, rabbits and squirrels.   Beggars used to rub the plant on their arms and legs to create an irritation which rendered them more stricken in order to gain public sympathy.

The traditional medicinal uses are varied and many: the juice of the plant for  treatment of pain, blistering, cuts, wounds,  abcesses, boils, hemorrhoids, nosebleeds and other external infections.  The juice was also used as sedatives and for  treating sore throats and thrush.  In various other preparations it was also used for headaches, to suppress muscle spasms, as a painkiller, to reduce redness of the skin, to constrict tissues and check blood flow, to promote sweating, and to increase the excretion of water from the body.

The name Ranunculus is thought to have originated from a tale about a Libyan boy of that name.  He wore a green and yellow silk tunic and loved to sing,  finally  tiring the wood nymphs who turned him into a flower.   Farmers sometimes hung the flowers over barn doors or rubbed cow udders with the yellow flowers to produce a golden cream.  Folklore also attributed insanity to those who smelled the flower or placed it under one’s neck under a full moon.

Location:  Womack Creek camp site boat landing.  N 30 00.088’W084 33.121′(1.2RL), N30 00.312’W084 33.475′(2.48RL), N30 00.396’W084 33.797′(2.95RR), N 30 00.801’W084 34.249′(3.5RR)

IMG_6568Rosa palustris

Subshrub, perennial

Native: L 48, Canada

Blooming:  April, May, June,  pink

You will notice the fragrance of these roses before you see them when they are in full bloom throughout the creek.   The nectar attracts native bees and other pollinators, birds eat the rose hips and the plants provide cover for wildlife and nesting sites for birds.

Native Americans used the barks and/or roots for medicine for worms and dysentery.

Location:  N30 00.210′ W084 32.740′ (.4RL), N30 00.094′  W084 33.343′ (1.2RL), N30 00.364′ W084 33.626′ (2RL), N30 00.376′ W084 33.605′ (2.2 RL)

P1010348Hypoxis curtissii Rose

Forb/herb; perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming: May, yellow

Location:  Womack Creek boat landing

P1000490-001Baccharis glomeruliflora Persoon

Shrub; perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  November, December, yellow, white

Silvering is a severe allergen.

Location: N30 061 W084 33.215′ (.9RL), N30 093 W084 33.359′ (1.12RL), N30 684 W084 34.255′ (3.24RR)

P1010229Orontium aquaticum L

Forb/herb, perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:   March, yellow, white

Location:   On river right, in a little inlet which is navigable only at high water, at creek entrance near landing N30 00.102′ W084 32.488′ (.2RR)

P1010782Eryngium yucciflolium var. yuccifolium of Apiaceae

Forb/herb; perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  July, white

We have not been on the creek to see it in bloom, but in October, the spent flower heads (about 1/2 to 1 inch spheres)  are visible.  They bloom from June through September in other areas and are said to have a honey-like odor.  They should be blooming profusely then; we have seen many dried flower heads in October.  The root has been used by native Americans and early settlers for medicine.   We would love to have a photo of this in bloom — photo must be taken on Womack Creek and nowhere else.

Location: N30 00.213′,W084 32.797′(.5RL), N30 00.088′,W084 33.169′(1.26RL)

p1230076

Seed clusters, photographed November 10, 2016.

P1010849Cicuta maculata L

Forb/herb; perennial

Native: L48, Alaska, Canada

Blooming:  May, June, white

This is one of the most poisonous plants in the North American continent.  The toxin is cicutoxin which acts directly on the central nervous system, causing violent convulsions and death.  The poison control center should be consulted and medical attention immediately sought if ingestion is suspected. Nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, seizures will show about 15 minutes after ingestion.  Different people will react differently to skin contact.  Children have been stricken after using the hollow stems as whistles or straws.

Although the flowers produce a nectar attractive to insects with short mouth parts as flies and wasps, other insects such as bees, small butterflies and beetles may be found on the flowers.  The following wasps can be found on the flower heads:  Cuckoo, Chalcids, Braconid, Spider, Paper, Mud Daubers, Eucoilid, Perlampid, Sapygid, Astantinint, Wild Carrot and Velvet Ant (wasps).   The larvae of the Black Swallowtail feed on the foliage.  Mammalian herbivores will avoid it because to ingest the foliage and particularly root (even a small piece) can be fatal.

You will find these plants often with climbing asters, both vying for sunshine on exposed islands of soils on dead tree trunks.  In other areas they may be found with blue flag iris.  This plant should not be confused with poison hemlock (Conium maculatum).

Location: N30 369 W084 33.613′ (2.4 RL), N30 091 W084 33.338′ (1.38RL), N30 260 W084 33.566′ (1.9RL), N30 359 W084 33.668′ (2.34RR), N30 096 W084 33.440′ (1.04RR), N30 00.363’W084 33.667′(2.6RR)

P1000494

Symphyotrichum simmondsii (Small G.L. Nesom)

Forb; perennial

Native: L 48

Blooming:  October, November, white

Attracts butterflies and other insect pollinators.

Location: N30 150 W084 32.980′ (.5RL); N30 168 W084 33.456′ (1.2RL)

Native Americans used an infusion of this plant for sunstroke.

IMG_6712

Erigeron quercifolius Poir.

Forb/herb; annual

Native: L 48

Blooming Time:  April, pink

The common name is derived from the belief that dried plants repelled fleas.  It is the exclusive larval food of the Schinia intermontana and Schinia obscurata moths.

Location:   Boat landing