Sunday, November 5, 2017

Restoring Bottomland Prairie: Motherwort, March 2017

Motherwort volunteered in the riparian buffer, greening up in early spring.  

Introduced from Asia, Motherwort is apparently invasive in eastern woodlands.  It does not appear to be so here, as it has reappeared in the same spot on the creek bank, year after year, without expanding its reach.   So far, it has simply added to our biodiversity!
Leonurus cardiaca
Mint Family (Lamiaceae)
Native of Asia, Volunteer
A traditional medicinal plant in Europe and Asia,
now naturalized along Great Plains streams
and rivers, Motherwort was used to treat
heart ailments, rabies, and lassitude (!).

You can see its rectangular stems, proclaiming its membership in the mint family.  

As summer arrives, Motherwort is overtopped by other plants along the creek bank.   I forget to look for it, so I have yet to catch it blooming.

But this may be the year!  

Restoring Bottomland Prairie: Winter Annuals Volunteer

Wedge-leaf Draba
Draba cunefolia
Mustard Family
Annual or winter annual
Native volunteer

These four species of winter annuals--two native, two introduced--blossomed in April 2017 on the riparian buffer bordering the Creek Field.  All four were volunteers!

Corn Gromwell
Buglossoides arvensis (Lithospermum arvense)
Borage Family (Boraginaceae)
Winter Annual
Introduced from Eurasia, Volunteer

Slender Fumewort
Corydalis micrantha
Fumewort Family
Winter annual, native volunteer

I found a fly busily drinking nectar from Treacle Mustard (the fly is visible in the photo below).   The fly doesn't seem to object to the mustard's non-native status!  

Treacle Mustard
Erysimum repandum
Winter Annual
Mustard Family (Brassicaceae)
Introduced from Eurasia, Volunteer