More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures.
Yikes! I got the link for the Michigan Wildflowers database wrong!
While I was gathering info for today’s post I came across a really cool resource!
MichiganWildflowers.com michwildflowers.com is an online photo database of Michigan’s wildflowers curated by Charles and Diane Peirce that lists 545 Michigan wildflowers and lets you (very quickly) click among them. With multiple photos for each wildflower, it’s pretty darn useful.
The Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center says that the Yellow Lady’s-slipper Orchid (Cypripedium parviflorum):
…is easily distinguished from others by its large yellow lip, or slipper. It grows up to 2 feet tall and has large, strongly veined leaves 6–8 inches long and half as wide. It has a flower, sometimes 2, at the end of the stem, cream-colored to golden-yellow. Flowers have 3 sepals, greenish-yellow to brownish-purple, the upper sepal larger, usually erect, and hanging over the blossom.
The Michigan DNR relates that Michigan’s state wildflower, the Dwarf Lake Iris (Iris lacustris): grows nowhere else but in the Great Lakes region, and most within Michigan’s boundaries:
In Michigan, Dwarf Lake Iris is especially concentrated along certain stretches of the northern Great Lakes shoreline, where it may occur for miles, interrupted only by habitat destruction, degradation, or unsuitable habitat such as rocky points or marshy bays.
Dwarf Lake Iris usually occurs close to the Great Lakes shores on sand or in thin soil over limestone rich gravel or bedrock. It tolerates full sun to near complete shade, but flowers mostly in semi open habitats. These areas can be very long and narrow strips bordering the high water line, or large flat expanses located behind the open dunes of the Great Lakes shoreline. Many iris locations are on old beach ridges of former shores of the Great Lakes. Fluctuating water levels of the Great Lakes play a vital role in opening up new habitat for Dwarf Lake Iris. During high water years, trees and shrubs along the shoreline may be flooded out. This flooding may open up patches within the forest where the Dwarf Lake Iris may spread. It is usually found growing under White Cedar, although White Spruce, Balsam Fir, and Aspen are also frequently present.
…”Lacustris” translates literally to mean “of lakes” and refers to where this beautiful iris grows. Dwarf Lake Iris was first found on Mackinac Island in 1810 by Thomas Nuttall, a renowned naturalist and explorer. Nuttall reached Mackinac Island after travelling from Detroit by canoe with French Canadian voyagers and the surveyor for the Michigan Territory. At least 1/3 of the species that Nuttall reported from the Great Lakes were new to science.
Read on for much more.
More Michigan flowers on Michigan in Pictures.
The magenta flash of Eastern Redbud (Cercis canadensis) is one of my favorite sights in springtime. I used to think it was an exotic tree, but as Rick Meader of the Ann Arbor News shares, Redbud trees are native to southern Michigan:
…as a member of the Pea family (Fabaceae) it’s a cousin to the previous pod-producers we’ve learned about, Honeylocust (Gleditsia triacanthos) and Kentucky Coffeetree (Gymnocladus dioica). Let’s learn more about this colorful little native.
As mentioned before, Eastern redbud is native to southern Michigan, occurring naturally up to a line across the lower peninsula from Kent County to Genesee County. Nationally, it occurs naturally in an area extending from Maryland and the Carolinas west to eastern Kansas through Texas, including all of the southern states and northern Florida. Of course, because it’s a pretty little thing, it has been planted in areas beyond its native range.
If you want to use it in your landscape, it is fairly flexible in terms of where it will grow. It naturally occurs in rich soil along stream and river banks but is tolerant of a wider range of conditions. It likes sun or partial shade and can do well in most soils except waterlogged soils and dry, sandy soils.
Read on for more.
Sue shared this with wishes of “blue skies & sunshine” back in 2007, and I’d like to join her in wishing all of Michigan’s marvelous moms a very Happy Mothers Day!
PS: To all you moms not of Michigan, a Happy Mother’s Day to you as well! ;)
mLive meteorologist Mark Torregrossa writes that the upcoming weather is looking normal, which is also fantastic for an extended time period of blooming here in Michigan:
Tulip Time runs from Saturday, May 7, to May 14 in downtown Holland. The Traverse City area cherry blossoms are also about to erupt with color.
Cool nights and near normal temperature days are just what we want for a long display of color from these two spring performers.
Gwen Auwerda, Executive Director of Tulip Time in Holland, MI says tulip blossoms can last up to 21 days if high heat is avoided. Auwerda says most of the tulips in Holland, MI are at peak right now, with some of the late bloomers expected to peak next week.
The cooler weather has slowed down the cherry blossoms in northwest Lower Michigan. Nikki Rothwell, MSU Extension educator, says now the cherries are right on track to blossom at the typical time.
Rothwell says sweet cherries are only days away from blooming, with peak bloom in northwest Lower Michigan possibly on Mother’s Day. Tart cherries, which make up most of northwest Lower Michigan’s cherry crop, should start blooming May 11 or May 12, and peak around May 14.
More spring wallpaper on Michigan in Pictures!