Willdflowers of Chesapeake Bay Watershed

An Illustrated Guide to Eastern Woodland Wildflowers and Trees: 350 Plants Observed at Sugarloaf Mountain, Maryland (Center Books)
In Full Bloom
Bay Buddies / By Kathleen Gaskell - Bay Journal

The woodlands and fields of the Chesapeake Bay watershed are home to bouquet of wildflowers. Can you pick the right description for each plant?
  1. Bindweed
  2. Daylily
  3. Jack-in-the-Pulpit
  4. Jewelweed
  5. Lady’s Slipper
  6. Mullein
  7. Pickerelweed
  8. Queen Anne’s Lace
  9. Smartweed
A. The seeds of this sun-loving plant can stay alive for 20 years or more in the soil.

B. This plant is a favorite with bird watchers. It (and ragweed) attract more seed-eating birds than any other plant in the Northeast United States.

C. The plant is known for its ability to alleviate the discomfort of poison ivy. When the fruit of this plant matures, the slightest touch will cause it to explode and disperse the seeds inside.

D. The long, thin taproot of this wildflower looks and smells like a carrot, hence its other name, wild carrot.

E. Its heart-shaped leaves and spikes of purple-blue flowers help to identify this aquatic wildflower, which got its name from the creature that is said to lay its eggs nearby.

F. Originally planted in the gardens of European settlers to North America, this perennial has escaped and can be seen in large clumps throughout the countryside.

G Be careful where you put your feet when walking through an oak or pine forest. Otherwise, you might step on this orchid, which also known as squirrel shoes.

H. The appearance of this plant depends on the amount of food that is stored in its corm, or underground stem, at the end of the previous growing season. When there is a lot of food stored, this plant will produce two leaves and a female flower. If there is less food, a single leaf and male flower appears. When even less food is stored, the plant produces a single leaf and no flower. A plant is able to change its sex from year to year.

I. This plant has many names. “Velvet-leaf” and “Flannel-leaf” describe this plant’s woolly leaves, while its tall stalk, no doubt, is the inspiration for “Jacob’s Staff.”

Kathleen A. Gaskell, the layout & design editor for the Bay Journal, has been involved with several environmental programs for children.

In Full Bloom
Bay Journal - June 1999

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