Sunday morning, I went, with my friend Elizabeth, to a conservation area, about 10 minutes from here, to see the annual display of a very rare daisy. Its common name is lakeside daisy (Tetraneuris herbacea) as it is found only in a few small colonies around the Great Lakes in Ontario, Ohio, Michigan and Illinois. It grows on a very thin layer of soil, directly on the alvar (limestone plain). Here is what it looks like.
You can see below how little soil it needs to grow. You just have a small deposits of leaf litter on the limestone where plants congregate. The limestone is just like a concrete floor. There is a walkway with a viewing station to protect the plants.
|Habitat of the lakeside daisy|
On the same outing, we saw fringe polygana (Polygala paucifolia), also in bloom just now. It grows in shade, under trees (while the lakeside daisies grows in full sun).
While the lakeside daisy is very rare, False Solomon Seal (Maianthemum racemosum) grows in all the states and all the provinces of North America. Growing through it is a large yellow lady slipper (Cypripedium pubescens). Both were growing on the highway embankment. The large yellow lady slipper is actually common around here.
|False Solomon Seal & Lady Slipper|
|Large Yellow Lady Slipper|
However the small lady slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum) is rarely seen. The one below actually grows in the garden.
|Small Yellow Lady Slipper|
The following two natives were not growing on the forest floor but in full sun in a field - wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana) and common blue-eyed grass (Sisyrinchium montanum).
|Wild Strawberry and Blue Eye Grass|
The last one, also growing in full sun, in the road embankment gravel, I was not able to identify. Perhaps some of you will know it (you can enlarge the picture by clicking on it).