Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Plants We Find In The Woods At Dusk

We came home from Hancock County along GA-15 from Greensboro via Watkinsville. The road to Scull Shoals Historic Area is accessed via Macedonia Road from GA-15 so we decided to detour. We hadn’t been there for several months. It was too late to walk around the historic area so we decided to check out a side road we’d seen on the way in. This road wasn’t much more than a couple of tracks through the woods.

Sandy Creek, looking upstream (east) from the bridge. I took this in late November 2010.

We spotted some ducks on a log. Then they spotted us and swam off upstream. What we thought was four ducks turned out to be Mum, Dad and the 11 ducklings. They were too far away to identify.

The road ran along the south side of Sandy Creek. At this point the creek had opened out into a large swamp. Although it was sunny in the open, it was fairly dark in the woods.

And this is what we found...

Tall Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

The plant

A close up of the flower. It’s a little past its best but more buds are developing and it’ll be fun to follow the development of the seed

Green Comet Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora)

It was late enough that we weren’t really looking for plants but, then, on a curve in the road, W spotted the characteristic profile of the Green Comet Milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora). We found 6 to 7 plants at this location. This plant has set three umbels and another plant is beginning to set blooms.

A closer view of an individual umbel

We were excited to see these plants. Previously, in addition to a plant that grows in our field, we’d only found them by the roadside in both Wilkes County and southeast Walton County. Unfortunately these roadside plants may have been destroyed when the roads were graded during the Winter. In this location in Greene County, it’s unlikely that the plants will be damaged.


This, obviously, is a trillium. It’s a big trillium with slightly mottled leaves and an erect flower

A closer view. It will be interesting to see which species this is. I have a bet with myself but I'm not telling.

Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

I’d never seen a Jack-in-the-pulpit before. It’s much larger than I’d imagined. Gigantic compared with what I’d imagined. This plant was about 2 feet tall and almost as wide.

It had bloomed and the fruit are forming. I’ll be following this plant for a while

It looks like this area will be interesting for early Spring flowering plants. We'll be coming back here a lot.

We have a habit of checking out ‘just one last thing’ on our way home. It was dusk so we had to use artificial lighting. I hate flash and only use it for distance shots when I have to. Since my camera won’t shoot macro shots with flash, I use a Yongnuo SYD-0808 digital LED array even though I have to shoot often at 1/50th second.

Click on an image to view a larger image


United States Department of Agriculture Plants Database:

- Anemone virginiana (Tall Thimbleweed)

- Asclepias viridiflora
(Green Comet Milkweed)

- Arisaema triphyllum

Identification resources:

Southeastern Flora:

Tall Thimbleweed (Anemone virginiana)

- Green comet milkweed (Asclepias viridiflora)

- Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)

Related posts:

- 2010: Year Of The Wildflower – Wildflower Index

- Field Trip: Scull Shoals. Part 1, Oconee River – Sandy Creek

- Field Trip: Scull Shoals. Part 2, Town Ruins – Store

- Field Trip: Scull Shoals. Part 3, Town Ruins – Arched Bridge & Power Plant

- Field Trip: Scull Shoals. Part 4, Town Ruins – Oconee River Bridge & Superintendent’s House

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