Thursday, June 12, 2008

Showy Lady slipper is blooming!

The showy ladyslipper is in bloom at the Garden. When I walked over for my Wednesday morning shift, I had hopes, but no expectations. Although there was a fierce rain falling all morning, at least 30 intrepid people came to the Garden adn were delighted to dodge the squitos and view the single bloom. There will be perhaps dozens more in bloom over the next two weeks. Last Saturday was showy ladyslipper day, but not even the yellow lady slipper were blooming (they had finished). It's a late bloom this year, due tothe weather, but I understand that the day was a success nevertheless. Many people never see one of these remarkable flowers blooming, let alone in the middle of the Cities. It is not to be missed. These plants used to grow all over in wet areas of the state, but development and theft (they do not transplant well) has led to a sad state of scarcity. I took a picture, but it was awful - I'll have better after I go for the last garlic mustard rout of the summer. Then it is on to eradicate this charming weed: Dame's rocket (hesperis matronalis)
This European transplant is everywhere in the Garden and choking out native plants. It's beautiful, it's fragrant and it's prolific. I am preparing myself for a raft of criticism from patrons who see me molesting the huge stands of it. Ranging in color from white to purple, the plant has four petals and stands tall above the surrounding vegetation. It will take root in just about any moisture condition, and grows in the upland garden as well as the swamp. The root mass is quite hardy and forms an efficient catchment for the garlic mustard seeds. The garlic mustard is done blooming before the dame's rocket, so they are quite compatible. The state of Minnesota has not yet officially recognized this as a harmful invasive - so it actually might still be sold commercially to the unwary.

Red osier dogwood (Cornus sericea) and High bush cranberry (Viburnum trilobium) are now blooming:

The forget-me-nots are blooming, but I couldn't get a good picture of those either - 'squitos. Another European plant that is common (those not invasive) is Night flowering catchfly (Silene noctiflora). It is also called sticky cockle - but not around here.

1 comment:

twinsetellen said...

I have sticky cockle in my garden - I can't bear to pull it all out.

Sounds like something suited for Chaucer. ;-)

W & I will try to catch the slippers this weekend. We almost went to the event, but got trapped up by home stuff.