You Can’t Have Wild Honey Without Wild Flowers

This flower was found in an overgrown field across the street from my apartment, near the Iuka Ravine area.

It is on page 60 in Newcomb’s Wildflowers

Common name: red clover  Scientific name: Trifolium pratense 

Corolla:  5 fused petals

Calyx:    5 fused sepals

Adroecium: 10 separate stamens

Gynoecium type: Apocarpous

Flower type/ovary position: Epigynous

Flower symmetry: Zygomorphic

Additional distinctive features: It has three leaflets, which is where its genus gets its name!

This flower was found in the field across from my apartment, but notably in one of the more well-drained areas.

It is on page 134 in Newcomb’s Wildflowers

Common name: evening primrose  Scientific name: Oenothera biennis

Corolla:  4 separate petals

Calyx:    4 separate sepals

Adroecium: 8 separate stamens

Gynoecium type: Unicarpellate

Flower type/ovary position: Epigynous

Flower symmetry: Actinomorphic

Additional distinctive features: The stigma is X-SHAPED!!! Most of the ones I found hadn’t opened much at all, this is because they open in the evening. Who woulda thought.

This flower was found in someone’s garden in German Village.

It is not in Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide.

Common name: hardy hibiscus(?) Scientific name: Hibiscus syriacus(?)

Corolla:  5 separate petals

Calyx:    5 separate sepals

Adroecium: Many stamens all branching off from the pistil

Gynoecium type: Syncarpous 

Flower type/ovary position: Perigynous

Flower symmetry: Actinomorphic

Additional distinctive features: It shouldn’t be here, yet it still wants you to know it when you see it.

This flower was found at the bottom of the Iuka Ravine.

It is on page 94 in Newcomb’s Wildflowers

Common name: false dragonhead or obedient plant Scientific name: Physostegia virginiana

Corolla:  5 petals fused at the base to form a tube

Calyx:    5 sepals fused at the base

Adroecium: 4 separate stamens 

Gynoecium type: Syncarpous

Flower type/ovary position: Epigynous

Flower symmetry: Zygomorphic

Additional distinctive features: You can move the individual flowers around like the joints on an action figure.

Impatiens capensis “Orange jewelweed”

I found a patch of orange jewelweed growing about 20 feet away from the shore of Lake Logan, in Hocking County. They have a distinct 3-lobed corolla, and a striking orange/reddish color. Lightly touching a jewelweed’s mature seedpod can cause it to launch the seeds out at you.

Phlox divaricata “Wild blue phlox”

Now that I’ve learned it, I don’t think I’ll make it a day without wanting to say the word “phlox” over and over. I found these at Conkle’s Hollow nature preserve in a heavily wooded area off of the main path. The five petals are fused at the base, it has five stamens, and it is epigynous. Phlox cannot self-pollinate, so they rely on pollinators like butterflies.

Lobelia siphilitica “Great blue lobelia”

I found these right next to orange jewelweed at Lake Logan. They are bilaterally symmetrical, and their corolla forms a shape similar to lips. It has 2 small lobes on top and 3 larger lobes on the bottom. I was surprised to find that their calyx is pretty hairy. The great blue lobelia gets its species name from being a supposed cure for syphilis. Please do not use this to treat syphilis.

Verbesina alternifolia “Wingstem”

Saved for last, a member of the aster family. I found this wingstem specimen in Conkle’s Hollow, right next to the main path and a shallow stream. The outer flowers seem to vary in number and kind of droop in an awkward fashion. As a member of Asteraceae, it is actually a cluster of many smaller flowers. All of the tubular things are flowers, as are the outer “petals.”