Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Dixie Reindeer lichen, Eastern Redbud & Atlantic Blue-eye Grass(?)

March 23rd, 2012. We had a few hours. The weather wasn’t great but we felt like getting out. So we drove one of the back roads in Wilkes County, Georgia. We drove out to Lexington on US-78 and turned north on GA-77 to the road marked as the Saxon-Mattox Road. It’s the last road before the Broad River crossing. This road runs from Saxon to Norman and then to Broad. On DeLorme’s Georgia Atlas & Gazetteer, the road begins as Goose Pond Road and then becomes CR-113 to Norman. The section from Norman to Broad is Norman Rd NE. We didn’t really expect to see much but we were really in for a pleasant surprise. This road runs roughly parallel to the Broad River through dry pine and deciduous forests. Periodically the road dips to cross creeks that drain into the Broad River.

On the high ground in the woods, it wasn’t unusual to find…

Cladonia subtenuis (Dixie reindeer lichen) and moss. The moss was still green due to the rain we’ve been having recently

A closer view

Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud) was blooming throughout the woods.

And then the real find on the high ground…

Sisyrinchium species (blue-eyed grass). I’m not sure what species this is. At first I thought it was Sisyrinchium mucronatum (Needle-tip blue-eyed-grass) but I’ve never seen this species with clusters of flowers at the tip. Now I’m wondering if it’s Sisyrinchium atlanticum (Atlantic Blue-eyed Grass).

A closer view of these blooms. This was an exciting find. We saw just one small patch of these plants by CR-113, not far from GA-17; we’ve never seen it anywhere else in spite of seeing several Sisyrinchium species. Does anyone have information on this plant. I’d be interested to find out if my tentative identification is correct or to obtain an accurate identification.

To be continued…

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

University of Georgia: A Guide to Twelve Common & Conspicuous Lichens of Georgia’s Piedmont

Southeastern Flora:
- Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

- Sisyrinchium mucronatum (Needle-tip blue-eyed-grass)

Name that Plant
- Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud, Judas Tree)

- Sisyrinchium atlanticum (Atlantic Blue-eyed Grass)

- Sisyrinchium mucronatum (Blue-eyed Grass)


University of Norh Carolina Herbarium:

- Cercis canadensis var. canadensis

- Sisyrinchium atlanticum

- Sisyrinchium mucronatum

USDA Plants Database

- Cercis canadensis var. canadensis (Eastern Redbud)

- Sisyrinchium mucronatum (Needletip Blue-eyed Grass)

- Sisyrinchium atlanticum (Eastern Blue-eyed Grass)

Related posts:

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Prostrate Blue Violet, Green-and-gold & Trumpet Honeysuckle

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Luna Moth (Actias luna)

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Down In The Creek Bottom

- Saxon-Norman-Broad, Wilkes County, Georgia: Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides)

- Needle-tip Blue-eyed-Grass (Sisyrinchium mucronatum)

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