What's Blooming in the Park?

23 November 2008
I was out of town last week, attending a wedding in Massachusetts, where, surprisingly, many maple trees still had their leaves.  In any event, I missed checking the Park.  This Sunday, I made my usual walk through the Park.  All I saw in bloom was the nodding bur marigolds near the entrance, which are still blooming merrily.  The witch-hazel that I saw was finished, but there might some still in bloom somewhere in the Park, and there could be a lonely aster hanging on somewhere.  With the recent snow squalls and frigid temperatures, winter has truly come to the Park.

With this final entry, I am closing down the What's Blooming chronicle.  I probably won't do this again next year, but this year's chronicle will remain on the web, and will still be useful in subsequent years.  I will continue to add photos and plant descriptions to the website, and I will update the links on this page, so it will be ever more useful.

As we close the book on a year in the life of Wildwood, it is interesting to look back on what was seen.  From the spring beauties first seen March 16th to the nodding bur marigolds still in bloom, we recorded 183 native and 73 alien species blooming in the Park, for a grand total of 256 species.  They are listed below in approximately the order they began to bloom:

183 Natives:  Spring beauty, round-lobed hepatica, sharp-lobed hepatica, spicebush, bloodroot, toothwort, Dutchman's breeches, small-flowered crowfoot, hooked crowfoot, star chickweed, rue anemone, American hazelnut, redbud, common blue violet, pale violet, three-lobed violet, smooth rockcress, large-flowered bellwort, perfoliate bellwort, blue cohosh, dwarf larkspur, large-flowered trillium, fairy bells, yellow trout lily, early meadow rue, hispid buttercup, pussytoes, hoary puccoon, heart-leaved Alexanders, Mayapple, wild ginger, Jack-in-the-pulpit, flowering dogwood, wild geranium, aniseroot, yellow pimpernel, green-and-gold, cleavers, Carolina vetch, smooth blackhaw, sweet buckeye, smooth phlox, wood anemone, prairie ragwort, golden ragwort, Canada columbine, ironwood, black locust, tulip poplar, alternate-leaved dogwood, carrion flowerAmerican barberry, four-leaved milkweed, lyre-leaved sage, fringe tree, Solomon's seal, false Solomon's-seal, yellow stargrass, Robin's plantain, blue-eyed grass, black cherry, green violet, wild stonecrop, alumroot, blackberry, wild yam, black cohosh, thimbleweed, leatherflower, waxy meadow rue, Carolina rose, staghorn sumac, common fleabane, annual fleabane, daisy fleabane, wild petunia, pale jewelweed, spotted jewelweed, hemp dogbane, hoptree, Ohio spiderwort, shrubby St. Johnswort, narrow-leaved houstonia, greater coreopsis, flowering spurge, wild bergamot, whorled rosinweed, tall larkspur, lopseed, white wood aster, woodland sunflower, white avens, American basswood, pokeweed, wild hydrangea, pointed-leaved tick trefoil, perplexed tick trefoil, oxeye, cup plant, cardinal flower, pale Indian plantain, fringed loosestrife, tall bellflower, enchanter's nightshade, wild potato vine, thin-leaved coneflower, black-eyed Susan, small-flowered leafcup, monkeyflowerbutterflyweed, swamp milkweed, green milkweed, cattail, American germander, carpenter's square, trumpet creeper, agrimony, small-flowered agrimony, horse nettle, wild basil, downy rattlesnake plantain, nodding onion, wild lettucevirgin's-bower, Indian pipe, Joe-Pye weed, sweet-scented Joe-Pye weed, boneset, biennial gaura,false pennyroyal, wingstem, horse balm, common evening primrose, Virginia knotweed, white snakeroot, hog peanut, green-headed coneflower, stinging nettle, eyebane, wild sensitive plant, common ragweed, giant ragweed, elm-leaved goldenrod, showy goldenrod, tall goldenrod, broad-leaved goldenrod, Indian tobacco, white vervain, New York ironweed, climbing false buckwheat, great blue lobelia, purpleleaf willowherb, northern bugleweed, silverrod, cowbane, tall rattlesnake root, tall white lettuce, mild water pepperclearweed, wood nettle, sneezeweed, field thistle, Spanish needles, heath aster, crooked-stem aster, purple-stemmed aster, heart-leaved aster, panicled aster, Lowry's aster, wavy-leaved aster, devil’s beggartick, late-flowering thoroughwort, fireweed, witch-hazel. and nodding bur-marigold.

73 Aliens: Hairy bittercress, Persian speedwell, ivy-leaved speedwell, purple dead nettle, coltsfoot, daffodil, gill-over-the-ground, dandelion, creeping buttercup, periwinkle, common chickweed, common wintercress, white poplar. mock strawberry, Japanese quince, yellow iris, apple, Morrow honeysuckle, garlic mustard, poet's narcissus, lily-of-the-valley, dame's rocket, narrow-leaved vetch, watercress, honesty, garden columbine, princess tree, Oriental bittersweet, big-flowered rhododendron, poison hemlock, privet, Japanese honeysucklecurled dock, wineberry, asparagus, bittersweet nightshade, autumn dandelion, multiflora rose, yarrow, low hop clover, red clover, white clover, rabbit-foot clover, white sweet clover, crown vetch, oxeye daisy, orange daylily, viper's bugloss, chicory, creeping bellflower, tree-of-heaven, yellow bedstraw, bee balm, heal-all, teasel, Japanese clover, everlasting pea, nodding thistle, Canada thistle, bull thistle, Queen-Anne’s-lace, common mullein, moth mullein, spotted knapweed, common St. Johnswort, common oxalis, quickweed, English plantain, common plantain, rough-fruited cinquefoil, butterflybush, burdock, catnip, spearmint, Deptford pink, black medick, Jimson weed, black nightshade, hedge bindweed, Asiatic dayflower, bouncing bet, and peppermint.


9 November 2008
I made my usual walk through the Park Sunday.  I saw 6 species in bloom, all natives.  The witch-hazel, which is probably going to be blooming later than anything else in the Park is still going strong.  The nodding bur marigolds near the entrance are also in full bloom and quite cheerful looking.  Three asters are still hanging on: Lowry's aster, panicled aster, and  heart-leaved aster.    In Connelly's Run floodplain, amid the brown dying wreckage of the cup plants, a single forlorn, lonely, confused cup plant is still green and blooming.


2 November 2008
I made my usual walk through the Park Sunday, but was not able to spend much time there.  A mere  four species were observed in bloom, the lowest number since I started the census of blooms in March.  Though the weather was sunny and warm, there is no question that winter is on its way.


26 October 2008
I did spend a couple of hours in the Park Sunday, along with many other people taking advantage of this beautiful fall weather.  I only counted 14 species in bloom, although I'm sure there were a few others still hanging on as I didn't try to identify a few asters and goldenrods that were on their last blooms.  The Park continues to surprise me; two species I saw today, I had not seen before in the park: wavy-leaved aster and nodding bur-marigold.  The aster was nearly finished flowering, so apparently I just didn't recognize it earlier. The bur-marigold is in full beautiful bloom just outside the gate of the Park.


19 October 2008
I managed only a short walk through the Park this weekend, and saw only 9 species in bloom.  There have not been that few species noted in bloom since March 23rd!  The Park is clearly shutting down for the coming winter.

12 October 2008
I managed only a short walk through the Park this weekend, and saw only 16 species in bloom.  There were probably more as I was not able to visit many of the areas I visited last weekend.  Most of the color in the Park now comes from the foliage, especially the oranges of sugar maple, the yellows of witch hazel and redbud and the reds of sumac.  The white and blue of the asters make a subdued counterpoint.  The goldenrods are on their way out for the year.  A surprise was finding some pale jewelweed in bloom after several weeks of not seeing it, however, the spotted species was not seen this time.

5 October 2008
I took a 2 hour hike through the Park, mostly photographing fruits and fall foliage.  Asters and goldenrods rule!  But the Park is definitely shutting down for the winter.  I found only 26 species in bloom.  The glory of the Park right now are the pale blue blooms of the heart-leaved asters lining many trails and parts of the bikepath.

21 September 2008
I was not able to spend much time in the Park, but I did walk several trails.  The goldenrods and asters dominate, and the great blue lobelias are still going strong.  Spotted jewelweed is still blooming, but the pale species seems to have dropped out, but then, it did start blooming first.  I found 34 species in bloom on this last day of summer.


14 September 2008
I did a couple of hours in the Park, mostly trying to identify asters and goldenrods.  I found 55 species in bloom.  The highlight of the blooms is still the great blue lobelias with their deep blue spikes all over the Park. 

7 September 2008
With Radford University now open, I did not have time to take a long stroll through the Park, but I did pass through a good section of it on the way somewhere else.   I found 43 species in bloom.  However, many of the plants blooming last week are still blooming, even if I did not notice them. 

31 August 2008
I spent a couple of hours in the Park Sunday afternoon.  Summer is definitely fading and autumn is taking over the Park.  That means goldenrods and asters, neither of which are easy to identify.  As I am no expert, there could easily be a species or two of these that I missed.  This week I did not have time to visit the open fields at the north end of the Park, ore the area around the outdoor classroom, both species rich, so I'm sure a number of flowers are blooming that I didn't record.  Still I cataloged 70 plants in bloom.  The highlight of the Park right now, I would say, are the great blue lobelias blooming in sunny places all over.


24 August 2008
I did not have a chance to tour the Park this weekend, but I did pass through on my way somewhere else.  The state of blooming seemed much the same as last week, except that New York ironweed has begun to bloom.

16 August 2008
I spent much of Saturday morning in the Park.  The summer blooms are peaking and the fall blooms are starting to come in.  An amazing record 91 plants were noted in bloom!  The blue-flowered legume from last week turned out to be a perplexed tick trefoil with faded blossoms, so last week's total was only 80.

10 August 2008
I was away last week, and busy the previous weekend, so I have not visited the Park in two weeks.  My notes today a record 81 species in bloom! 

One other plant in bloom was a blue-flowered member of the pea family that I am still trying to identify -- that makes 81.

27 July 2008
This week my notes record 75 species in bloom; the Park is still in peak form!  The downy rattlesnake plantain is a new species for the Park, and the first orchid recorded in the Park.  The Indian pipe and sweet-scented Joe-Pye weed are also new records for the Park.

20 July 2008
I walked the Park Sunday afternoon, hot but lovely weather.  My notes record 70 species in bloom, beating last week's record by 10!  (There were probably more since I did not visit some areas I visited last week, and may also have just not noticed some of the weeds still blooming.)

13 July 2008
I spent 3 hours walking in the Park in the heat of Saturday and a much shorter time walking through on Sunday morning before the storms.  My notes record 60 species in bloom, a record for this year!  The enchanter's nightshade and small-flowered leafcup, along with the lopseed first seen last week, are new records for the park.  Three newly discovered native species in 8 days!

6 July 2008
I spent several hours in the afternoon searching for New Jersey tea.  I found one plant, but it had finished blooming.  I also noted another 46 species in bloom.  Some 15 of these are natives that I saw blooming for the first time this year.  A lot can change when you go away for even a little while!

29 June 2008
I have been out of town so there has been no posting here for a while.  Today I missed visiting the Park on account of the weather, but yesterday, on a run through part of the Park, I noticed that thimbleweed, leatherflower, dame's rocket, curled dock, oxeye daisy, viper's bugloss and chicory were still blooming.  In addition, yellow bedstraw is now blooming on the edge of the Park, above the tunnel.  I have not seen this beautiful, but alien species in the Park before.

15 June 2008
I made a quick walkthrough of the Park on my way elsewhere this morning, and a more leisurely tour in the afternoon.  I noted 33 species in bloom.

12 June 2008
On my way to the first lecture of the summer at the Outdoor Classroom, I noticed a few species now in bloom that were not blooming Sunday (the 8th): the native wild petunia and three aliens, oxeye daisy, orange daylily and viper's bugloss.

8 June 2008
I was out of town for the end of May and so could not update the Blooming list.  Sunday, despite the heat, I spent several hours in the Park.  Spring and fall tend to be peak flowering times in this part of the world.  It is thus not surprising that the number of species blooming is dropping from its spring high as we now begin summer.  Only 36 species were seen in bloom this visit, and many of them were alien weeds that bloom much of the summer.

17 May 2008
I spent a very enjoyable morning exploring the Park, which was in fine form.  Some 53 species were seen in bloom!

11 May 2008
I did not get a chance to visit the Park this week.  Likely the species blooming were much the same as last week, although the earlier bloomers, coltsfoot, spring beauty, wild ginger, redbud and trillium may have dropped out.  In addition, passing the Park, I noticed that black locusts are in full bloom.  Tulip poplars are blooming outside the Park, and are probably blooming inside as well.

1 and 4 May 2008
With my grading done, I played hooky and spent  a couple of hours hiking the Park on Thursday, May 1st.  I also took a shorter walk through on Sunday, May 4th.  The following 48 species were noted in bloom:

27 April 2008
I took a relatively short walk through the Park today before the rains came in.  Bloodroot, Dutchman's breeches, hepatica and trout lilies appear to be done for the year.  Otherwise most of the things in bloom last week were still blooming this week.  In addition, the following 11 species were newly seen in bloom:

19 April 2008
I took a walk through yesterday, and led a walk for Treefest.  The bittercress, spicebush, daffodils, and most of the bloodroot are finished for the year, but some 42 species were seen in bloom.

This week might be the flowering peak for Wildwood.  (We'll see, next week.)

13 April 2008
Unfortunately, I was not able to walk through the Park this weekend -- a combination of grading, a cold, and the weather.  However, passing by, I could not miss the fact that the redbuds have begun to bloom.

6 April 2008
A long walk through the Park found essentially the same things blooming as last week.  I did not see any round-lobed hepatica, but the sharp-lobed species is still blooming.  The highlight this week is the big patches of Dutchman's breeches along the west side trails.

Three additional alien weeds noticed in bloom: common chickweed, common wintercress, and the alien tree white poplar.

Preview of common attractions, redbud, blue cohosh, yellow trout lily, and dwarf larkspur, all natives, are in bud and will soon be blooming.

29 March 2008
Despite the threat of rain about 25 people turned out for a Virginia Native Plant Society walk through the park this morning.  Twenty-two species were found in bloom. 

The American hazelnut has not been reported in the Park before; however it was in plain view, so it apparently had been merely overlooked until now.

23 March 2008
Ten species now in bloom.  The seven seen last week (see below) plus three new native species:  round-lobed hepatica, spicebush, and bloodrootToothwort and Dutchman's breeches were in bud and will be starting to bloom soon.

16 March 2008
I noticed seven species in bloom on an afternoon stroll, one native and six exotic weeds.  The native was spring beauty.  The weeds: hairy bittercress, Persian speedwell, ivy-leaved speedwell, purple dead nettle, coltsfoot, and daffodils.  If anyone has seen anything else, I'd be happy to hear from you.

Text last updated 9 August 2012;  new links added 18 August 2011

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