Now Blooming in Bent Tree

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis), also known as spotted touch-me-not, is a magnet for hummingbirds, butterflies, and bees.  The bushy annuals shine like jewels when covered with the morning dew, especially when the sun hits them.  The juice from the stems is said to help treat poison ivy rashes.

August 13, 2017 - Jewelweed in Bent Tree

August 13, 2017 – Morning dew on Jewelweed in Bent Tree (click photo to zoom)

 

Lake & Wildlife Meeting Today – 9:30 a.m. at Club Tamarack

The scheduled program is Bent Tree Wildflowers.

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Spotted jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) is a late summer wildflower that has been blooming profusely in Bent Tree over the last couple of weeks. The photo above was taken this year, but my favorite picture of this particular wildflower is the macro shown below, from last year. Click the image below to zoom in.

September 4, 2014 - Jewelweed in Bent Tree

September 4, 2014 – Spotted Jewelweed in Bent Tree (click image to zoom)

 

Hummingbird Camouflage

Cardinal flowers (Lobelia cardinalis) are blooming along the streams in Bent Tree. A hummingbird was darting away from the flower when I snapped this picture. The background vegetation is the perfect camouflage for the hummingbird.

Click photo for larger image:

August 22, 2015 - Hummingbird and Cardinal Flower in Bent Tree

August 22, 2015 – Hummingbird and Cardinal Flower in Bent Tree

Blooming Now in Bent Tree

Here’s another plant that originated in China and has naturalized in Georgia. The Chinese Privet (Ligustrum sinense) was brought to the United States in 1852 as an ornamental shrub and has spread so much that it is considered an invasive species. It is very fragrant, and you might smell it before you see it. It is considered highly allergenic, so if you’re having allergy problems right now, this could be a culprit. The second photo below gives an idea of the size of the stand of privet. It is massive (and beautiful) with a lot of blooms.

May 16, 2016 - Chinese Privet blooming in Bent Tree

May 16, 2015 – Chinese Privet blooming in Bent Tree

May 16, 2015 - stand of Chinese privet in Bent Tree

May 16, 2015 – stand of Chinese privet in Bent Tree

 

Cherokee Rose

Georgia’s state flower was putting on a nice show in Bent Tree a couple of weeks ago. The Cherokee Rose (Rosa laevigata) is not a native plant of Georgia, but has become naturalized in the state. It is a native plant of China and was brought to the United States in the 1700’s. The Native American Cherokees began planting the evergreen climbing shrub in north Georgia around the mid-1700’s.  It is said that wherever a tear fell on the “Trail of Tears”, a Cherokee Rose grew. The plants still bloom along the path today.

May 5, 2015 - Cherokee Rose blooming in Bent Tree

May 5, 2015 – Cherokee Rose blooming in Bent Tree

Nodding Trillium

The nodding trillium is a plant that is easy to overlook. The flower hangs down under the three leaves, so it is often inconspicuous. The following photo was taken last month in Bent Tree. If you click the photo twice, you’ll get a good macro view.

April 18, 2013 – nodding Catesby’s trillium in Bent Tree (aka Bashful Wakerobin or Rose Trillium)

The importance of the black locust tree

Early forest regeneration in southern Appalachian hardwood forests is dominated by the woody nitrogen fixing legume, black locust (Robinia pseudo-acacia).” - Boring L.R. and W.T. Swank, Department of Botany, University of Georgia, “The Role of Black Locust in Forest Succession”

Wednesday’s post (click here to read), mentioned a location in Bent Tree that was recently bush-hogged.  The location had three years of thick vegetation growth, including numerous black locust saplings, and would have been the perfect place to monitor growth in the future.  The black locust is native to our area, is important to the honey industry, has beautiful fragrant blooms (used as an ingredient in many perfumes), is valued for its lumber, and is important to wildlife.

“Seeds of the black locust are eaten by northern bobwhite quail, mourning dove, wild turkey, white-tailed deer, eastern cottontail, and squirrels. White-tailed deer also eat the leaves and twigs. Many animals use this tree for cover. Cavities in the tree are good homes for bird and other animals, especially woodpeckers. Additionally, black locust is the host-plant for a couple species of butterfly.” – University of Florida, School of Forest Resources and Conservation

Following are photos of black locust trees in Bent Tree this year (click thumbnails for larger image).  The fourth photo shows a black locust sapling that was starting to bloom.  The sapling was growing in the area that was recently bush-hogged.