What’s in Bloom—June 11th


We have reached the ‘tween season where the spring ephemerals have disappeared and the full bounty of summer blossoms has not yet arrived. Still, there’s much to enjoy out and about in Duneland.



Lithospermum croceum (Hairy Puccoon) is a characteristic species of the open dunes near Lake Michigan, but it also occurs in sandy Black Oak savannas where it flowers along with Lupinus perennis occidentalis (Wild Lupine).



Helianthemum canadense (Frostweed) is most commonly found in sandy Black Oak savannas growing with Little Bluestem, Prickly Pear Cactus, Butterfly Milkweed, Pennsylvania Sedge and other associates. It gets its common name from the ice crystals that often protrude from cracks in the lower part of the stem on frosty fall mornings.



Phlox pilosa (Sand Prairie Phlox) is another species that is native to the sand prairies and Black Oak savannas. In Duneland, it tends to bloom shortly after P. bifida (Cleft Phlox) and before P. glaberrima (Marsh Phlox).


Krigia virginica (Dwarf Dandelion) is a diminutive annual that prefers open sandy places. The 6-8″ stems are topped by golden yellow flowers which give way to wonderfully delicate seed heads.


Krigia biflora (Two-flowered Cynthia) is the larger and showier relative of the preceding species. I’ve seen it growing in sandy Black Oak savanna as well as moister conditions along the roadside.


Zizia aurea (Golden Alexanders) prefers moist wooded areas and has the distinction of being among the very last entries in Swink & Wilhelm! This specimen is growing in the Richardson Wildlife Sanctuary, Dune Acres.


Osmunda cinnamomea (Cinnamon Fern) is a majestic fern of wet boggy places. This specimen was in a large colony east of the Cowles Bog parking lot in Dune Acres.


Tradescantia ohiensis (Ohio Spiderwort) can be ubiquitous, but it’s beautiful purple blossoms are always a highlight of the month of June. It is home in Black Oak savanna as well as disturbed prairies. In fact, it seems to be happy just about anywhere that isn’t too wet.


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