26 May 2020
Memorial Day was certainly the official start of summer with a high of 86 degrees F yesterday, 13 degrees above normal. The signs of spring are long gone, replaced by a lot of leaves.
With spring on the wane there are fewer plants to attract attention. Here’s what I’ve seen in Schenley Park, May 10 to 24.
- Golden alexanders (Zizia aurea), a perennial in the carrot family.
- Squaw root (Conopholis americana), a non-photosynthesizing parasite on oak roots. This is a banner year for squaw root in Schenley.
- Columbine (Aquilegia sp.) is mildly toxic to animals, which explains why the deer haven’t eaten it.
- Pawpaw (Asimina triloba) flowering on May 17. The pawpaws in Schenley grow in single-plant clumps so the flowers are not fertilized and rarely produce fruit.
- Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) flowering on May 10, also toxic to deer.
This beautiful flower hides under the mayapple’s leaves.
(photos by Kate St. John)