Early October Beauty

Turtleheads at Westinghouse Memorial, Schenley Park, 4 Oct 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

9 October 2021

White turtleheads (Chelone glabra) are widely distributed in eastern North America while pink ones (Chelone lyoni) have a narrow range in the Blue Ridge Mountains. These showy flowers were planted at the Westinghouse Memorial in Schenley Park.

Arrow-leaved tearthumb (Persicaria sagittata) has very tiny white flowers enclosed in a pink bud. I used to think the flowers were pink until I examined this one.

Arrow-head leaved tearthumb, Moraine State Park, 6 Oct 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Purple passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is so fancy that it must be tropical, right? Actually, it’s native to the southern U.S. This vine was blooming on 3 October on Phipps Conservatory’s garden fence. Wow!

Passion flower blooming along the fence at Phipps Conservatory, Schenley Park, 3 Oct 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

Did you know these asters close at night? I didn’t until I saw them opening in after dawn on Friday.

Asters opening when morning light reaches them, Schenley Park, 8 October 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

And here’s a curiosity that looks like a pinecone, but it’s not. Willow pinecone galls are made by the willow to protect itself from an insect. Inside each gall is the larva of a midge whose mother laid eggs at the tip of the branch. The larva will overwinter here and emerge as an adult in the spring … unless a bird hammers the gall and eats the insect.

Willow pinecone galls, Moraine State Park, 6 Oct 2021 (photo by Kate St. John)

(photos by Kate St. John)

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