Saturday, March 5, 2011
Coltsfoot and Mystery Leaves
Coltsfoot March 4, 2011
Yesterday, I spotted many coltsfoot flowers. These come up in early March or sometimes in late February, several weeks before most forest wildflowers. The flowers fade and die long before the leaves appear in late summer. For a long time, I didn't make the connection. So, if you haven't done so, here a picture from late summer:
Coltsfoot leaves in July
The leaves line our driveway and old logging roads. Although colstfoot is not native, having been brought here by the colonists to use in cough medicine, I find them to be lovely and not very invasive.
On a walk yesterday, I spotted another eastern hemlock tree on our property. That makes three that I know of although there could be others. Across the eastern part of the United States, these trees are slowly being killed by woolly adelgid (Adelges tsugae). None of our trees show evidence of this bug which eats the sap leaving eggs which look like fungus on the underside of the leaves. I don't know if it is because our trees are immature (about 30 ft. tall) or because all three trees are so isolated from other hemlocks.
Mystery Leaves March 4, 2011
Can you help me identify these leaves? On the same walk yesterday, I found these leaves that looked like they had sprouted in the past week. I see them every year. They seem to have no flowers or maybe they are just the opposite of coltsfoot--with leaves first and then the flowers much later. I looked up all the possible flowers in the lily family since these leaves have parallel veins (notice how prominent they are). But, I couldn't find anything that came close.
I thought I would ask since I had good luck on the mystery pupae on my last post--Marvin said it was probably the pupae of a Cecropia Moth. I agree after looking at the images he linked. Maybe I will see the beautiful moth emerging one day.