Shades of Yellow and a Purple Host

Common sunflower closeup, 14 Aug 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

20 August 2023

Someone in my neighborhood planted common sunflower (Helianthus annuus) on the strip of land between the sidewalk and the street. This month it droops over the sidewalk, so tall that I barely have to duck to take this closeup of yellow with a golden cast. Did you know this food plant is native to the Americas?

This woodland sunflower (Helianthus divaricatus), in a sunnier shade of yellow, was identified on the Botanical Society walk last Sunday at the Nine Mile Run Trail. The side of the flower is displayed because the bracts on the back and the bud are important. Click on the image to see a front view of the flower.

Woodland sunflower, Nine Mile Run Trail, 14 Aug 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

This very yellow “pale jewelweed” (Impatiens pallida) is a rarity in Schenley Park. Deer have eaten all the other jewelweed yet this patch thrives. Why? The clue is in middle of this ugly photo.

Do you see the prickly branch of wineberry draped over the jewelweed plant? The entire patch is protected by this invasive thorny plant. The deer cannot approach. (Wineberry stems are circled in purple below.)

Wineberry (circled) drapes over yellow jewelweed in Schenley Park, protecting it from deer, Aug 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

And a Purple Host:

I don’t remember the exact species of tick trefoil seen on the Botanical Society walk but a butterfly confirmed the plant is thriving.

Tick trefoil is the host plant for the silver spotted skipper. This one was sipping on an wet abandoned shirt nearby its host.

Silver spotted skipper sipping on a wet cloth, NMR Trail, 14 Aug 2023 (photo by Kate St. John)

(photos by Kate St. John)

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