September 2nd. (Continued from… ). When I visited Fort Yargo State Park in mid-February, there were few signs of Spring. The only wildflower plants that were obvious were the leaves of Cranefly Orchids (Tipularia discolor) that I found in many places.
The route… I’ve described it here, here, here, and here This walk doesn’t have the variety of wildflowers as my other walk from the Group A Shelter to the Old Fort but it does have some gems. One of the Smallflower Pawpaw (Asimina parviflora) had developed fruit that, unfortunately, it had lost; the Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule) Orchids had bloomed, and some Green Adder’s-mouth (Malaxis unifolia) Orchids had bloomed and two were setting seeds. For the moment, some wildflowers we still blooming but there was a lull between seasons. I had thought that the slime mold fruiting was done for the year, but I was in for a surprise. There were new fungi to be found too.
No sooner had I started up the hill, than I found yet more…
mushrooms belonging to the genus Suillus. These had…
slippery caps. These were identified by friends on the Facebook Mushroom Identification Forum as Slippery Jill (Suillus salmonicolor). Mushroom s belonging to this species have a…
gelatinous ring from their veil that has a…
thick white lower edge that is quite evident in this bud.
I found another pair of suillus mushrooms ‘hiding’ under a tree root still further up the hill. These were…
similar to the pair that I had found earlier in this walk; dry caps with no rings. These had been identified as Suillus tomentosus.
At the top of the hill, I found more Coral Slime (Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa) fruiting bodies.
I walked down to the bench before the final climb up the hill. There on the ground was a…
feather. I think it may have belonged to a Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus).
On the final section of the trail out of the woods, I noticed a flower than I hadn’t seen on the way in. Immediately, I realized that it was Carolina Elephantsfoot (Elephantopus carolinianus). I had been looking for this species for several years but had never found it. The reason that I hadn’t seen it was that the flowers close up at night and had not opened by the time I walked in.
The flowers are very similar to those of the Hairy Elephantsfoot (Elephantopus tomentosus) but the bracts are elongated and soft compared with the more triangular and hairy bracts of the Hairy Elephantsfoot. The other distinguishing characteristic of the Carolina Elephantsfoot were the…
large leaves on the stems of the plant compared with the lack of leaves on the stems of the Hairy Elephantsfoot; this latter species has a rosette of large leaves at the base of the stem. So, now I know for certain how to differentiate between these species. It’s interesting that, at least in this area, the Carolina Elephantsfoot blooms later than the Hairy Elephantsfoot.
Out on the open trail, I found two different Eupatorium sp. The first was the...
Hyssopleaf Thoroughwart (Eupatorium hyssopifolium), and the second was the…
Lateflowering Thoroughwort (Eupatorium serotinum).
Brazilian Vervain (Verbena brasiensis) was still blooming in this same area.
A couple of small Joe Pye Weed (Eutrochium fistulatum) were still blooming in the area under the power lines.
Then I noticed an old friend; Climbing Hempweed (Mikania scandens). There were lots of blooms but it took some work tracing the vine to find their…
characteristically shaped leaves.
The final spotting on the trail this week was Hairy Small-leaved Ticktrefoil (Desmodium ciliare), also blooming in the area under the power lines.
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: Suillus salmonicolor
- Kuo, M. Mushroom Expert.com: Suillus tomentosus
- Messiah College: Ceratiomyxa fruticulosa
- The Found Spider: Found Feathers and the Feather Atlas
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Elephantopus carolinianus
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Eupatorium hyssopifolium
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Eupatorium serotinum
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Mikania scandens
- Natural and Naturalized Plants of the Carolinas and Georgia: Desmodium ciliare
- Summer On A Fort Yargo State Park Trail: Section B To The Dam, July 29th (Part 1)
- Spring Is In The Air: Fort Yargo State Park, Section B To The Dam, May 1st (Part 2)