Help Us Identify aWetland Wildflower at Florida’s Big Bend Wildlife Management Area

Wetland Flower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Big Bend Wildlife Management Area, Florida

It’s time to ask y’all for an ID for this sweet, delicate, inspiring wetland wildflower. It grew in the swampy habitat along a trail at the Big Bend Wildlife Management Area in Florida’s Panhandle. I saw it, stopped, admire it and shot it, for your future help in identifying it.

There are tens of thousands of botanists in the southeastern USA alone, and its comforting to know that some know all, or nearly all.

Thanks,

Jeff

Tory Peterson and James Fisher Instruct Jeffrey Zablow

Teasel Wildflowers at Raccoon Creek State Park

I’m now in my 3rd read of Wild America by Roger Tory Peterson and James Fisher (Houghton Mifflin, 1955) and on page 53, they slightly unnerved me. Peterson, the great birder who is so revered by many I know, is touring the Potomac River in Washington, D.C. with James Fischer, this Fisher’s first visit to North America.

Peterson notes that “Hundreds of species-no one knows exactly how many, because new ones are constantly being noticed-are now part of the American flora. The list is long . . .dandelion, black mustard, spearmint, peppermint, forget-me-not, mullein, field daisy . . . yarrow, teasel, tansy, and many, many others.” Teasel? My beloved teasel, that so enabled me back in Pennsylvania when I visited Raccoon Creek State Park as many as 200 times? Enabled me because when it was in bloom, as it is here in this image, it attracted butterflies, moths and Ruby-throateds, and they loved its nectar so much, that I was able to score many, many pleasing images.

So teasel is here to stay, but, it ranks as an alien species. No Leps use it as a host plant. What would Doug Tallamy say of that?

Jeff

Unknown Wildflower at Watts Flats

Wetland wildflower, photographed by Jeff Zablow at Watts Flats Wetland, NY

Barbara Ann (A”H or OBM”) showed me Watts Flats Wetland Reserve in far Western New York State. It sure must have been conserved because it includes several unique, rare and hard to find green plants.

This was one of them. Barbara Ann didn’t know its name, and that told me that it was special, very.

She passed this year, and Oh how she will be missed. She enabled me to visit many wondrous reserves in New York and in Ohio, where she introduced me to Angela and several other accomplished naturalists.

With 2021 just around the corner, my immediate plan is to scour Georgia and Florida for butterflies, and at the same time, seek extraordinary wildflowers and orchids. Who to lead the way, now that is the question?

Jeff

An American Native: Coneflower

Coneflower photographed by Jeff Zablow at Lynx Prairie Reserve, Ohio

Doug Tallamy’s book urged us to stop putting in alien plants, don’t purchase non-American plants for your home gardens. is argument? Compelling. Real. In 2013 that’s exactly what we did. Our new Pittsburgh home gardens, front and side filled with native plants from the northeastern USA. At the time, Sylvania Natives was an outstanding natives nursery . . . and it was in Pittsburgh, 1/2 miles from our home.

In went native plum trees, Pagoda Dogwoods, Obedient plant, Asclepias (common milkweed), Clethra, Cut-leaf Coneflower, Oakleaf hydrangea, Ironwood, Senna, Hawthorne, Cornus Florida, Tulip Poplar and more, so much more.

I was skeptical about one or two of these ‘natives.’ I’d seen Purple Coneflower many, many times in those big-box home improvement stores, Lowe’s and Home Depot, and I’d seen it in several nurseries that stocked alien cultivars. What’s was the truth of Purple Coneflower?

In 2017 I joined a stellar group of folks at Adams County, at the southern tip of Ohio. Angela, Dave, Joe, Barbara Ann A”H and Flower. There, in the OMG!! Lynx Prairie Preserve, there, I found it! Purple Coneflower, native and Spectacular!

Coneflowers. Native and a favorite of butterflies, bees, Ruby-throated hummingbirds and I’m sure more, so much more. Easy to set-in, hardy and a fine, fine investment for you Wall Street types.

Jeff

Pittsburgh to Macon, Georgia: The Big Switcheroo

 Jeff Zablow's Perennial Beds Pittsburgh, PA, 7/10/07

Today? Today we planted native trees into our new Macon, Georgia back garden. We’re doing the whole Doug Tallamy thing, full bent! The accompanying image is of my 2003 back garden in the Squirrel Hill neighborhood in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. We set out there to attract butterflies and to feast our eyes on beautiful blooms.

What’s there in that sweet garden? Irises (Dutch), several varieties of Salvia, Shasta Daisy, Buddleia (Chinese Butterflybush), Oakleaf Hydrangea, Crape myrtle (Frieda A”H (OBM”)) saw it in Georgetown, D.C. and loved it), Monarda in fantastic bloom, Hydrangea, Yellow irises, the circular rose bed that Frieda had always wanted and more, so much more.

Now we did the Big Switcheroo. We’re in Middle Georgia, a 13-hour drive south of Pittsburgh. Most everything is different, and  . . . as I did shortly before I left Pittsburgh, I went native. Catherine of Sylvania Natives Nursery recommended that I read this book by Doug Tallamy. I did, and I changed. It for one, explained why my butterfly garden in Long Island, New York almost never attracted any butterflies (the upscale community around us had manicured gardens, all landscaped by guys named Tony, Salvatore and Guiseppe, and 99% of their elegant plantings were . . . Asian, European & South American).

So this afternoon we relocated some huge azaleas in our new Macon garden, and we planted natives, for our native butterflies, bees, flies, moths, hummingbirds and more. What’s we add today, in those not so easy to create large holes? Today’s juvie plantings: Blackgum trees, a White Oak tree, A Sourwood tree and a Yellowwood tree.

Pots awaiting going in? Chokecherry, Viburnums, Asters, Rusty Blackhaw & Blackhaw (Viburnum prunifolium).

The Big Switcheroo. Not bad for a kid from Brooklyn’s concrete, asphalt and brick?

The butterflies flying in, in 2021? Oh my Goodness . . . .

Jeff