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Posted July 14, 2016 by FRU

Recently Kathy and I visited a few sites in northern Rhode Island to search for wild plants on a cool, cloudy and damp day.  Our first site was a heavily wooded area with lots of swampy spots and enormous Tulip trees so high that we could hardly distinguish the leaves.  Gypsy moth caterpillars had attacked many of the trees though we couldn’t assess the damage to the Tulip trees probably because we could barely see the foliage on these majestic giants.  The whole area was dripping wet from rain the previous night and so were we at the end of the trip.

Four-leaved Jack-in-the-Pulpit At this site Pipsissewa also known as Striped Wintergreen (Chimaphila maculata) brightened the day with its waxy-white petals curled upward, these were accented by 10 yellow stamens. We also found a four-leaved Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum).

Dwarf Enchanters NightshadeHelleborine OrchidOther plants we saw were Dwarf Enchanters Nightshade (Circaea alpina), Helleborine Orchid (Epipactis helleborine) which is an introduced species, and Large Purple Fringed Orchid with half of its flowering stem missing, courtesy of deer.  The Helleborine Orchid was in tight bud and should bloom in the next week or so.  This Orchid is thought by one well known botanist to be a source of stem borers which can infect our native orchids.

Water HemlockWater Hemlock BlossomLater we visited another site where we found the very poisonous Water Hemlock. It was in full bloom and stood out from the other swamp plants nearby.  It dominated the swamp as its small, pure white flowers gracefully hung over the wetland, an imposturous beauty in a land of muck.  Galium palustre, Marsh Bedstraw stems were sprawling across the dried bottom of the swamp. 

The small Green Woodland Orchid was seen, its flowers still in the budding stage and not yet open.  A plant of Upland Boneset and a Scrophularia  were growing in an open area.  Unfortunately neither were in bloom.


Posted May 22, 2016 by FRU

Spring Avens Spring Avens calyxSpring Avens (Geum vernum)has been in bloom for the last two weeks.  It has small yellow flowers and stands about 6-20” tall.  It was first found in RI in Johnston about 10 years ago and has spread extensively in the Johnston-Providence area.  It has an unusual habit as the seeds form; the receptacle holding the developing achenes elongates from the calyx by 1-2mm. It is likely an introduced species.

SassafrasCrimson CloverIn Barrington at Nockum Hill, Sassafras was in bloom along with Crimson Clover (Trifolium incarnatum), another introduced species.



Appalachian Sand Plum Wild LupineIn West Greenwich, a very rare shrub, Prunus susquehanae known as Appalachian Sand Plum was in bloom. It is a very low growing shrub with clusters of 2-3 delicate white flowers.  Most of the Sand Plum in West Greenwich was only 12-18” high.  It grows in a field there. Wild Lupine was also in full and glorious bloom.

Lance-leaved VioletA few hundred feet from the Sand Plum, Viola lanceolata, Lance-leaved Violet was in bloom in an open sandy area.  It is normally found in moist areas but was growing under very dry conditions here.


I found Hooked Crowfoot (R. recurvatus), Small-flowered Crowfoot (R. micranthus),  Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum candense) and a Sedge, which I have not yet identified, in North Kingstown along Route 2.  There is also a small population of Osmorhiza, either Sweet Cicely or Aniseroot, is also growing at this site.  After it blooms in a few days I will be able to tell you which species it is.

found Hooked Crowfoot   Small-flowered Crowfoot   Canada Mayflower 


Posted May 8, 2016 by FRU and kb

Yesterday, we went out to check on the Yellow Ladyslippers (Cypripedium parviflorum var. pubescens) in Cumberland. There were 15 plants with 12 in bloom. Of the ones in bloom, 5 plants had double blossoms. We also checked out an adjacent wetland. We saw Bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolium) in bloom, Maidenhair fern (Adiantum pedatum) just coming up, Zizia aurea (Golden ALexanders), Golden Saxifrage (Chrysoplernium americanum), Marsh Blue Violet, (Viola cucullata), Golden Ragwort(Packera aurea) in bud, Sweet White Violet (Viola blanda) and Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris).

Ladyslipper site  Double-flowered Yellow Ladyslipper  A second Double-flowered Yellow Ladyslipper 

Sweet white Violet  Marsh Violet  Golden Alexander


Posted May 4, 2016 by FRU

Along Route 2 in East greenwich the rare Trillium erectum, Red Trillium, was in bloom along with Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius), and Bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia).

Red Trillium  Red trillium plants  Dwarf Ginseng  Bellwort

In North Kingstown growing on a tree was this Lichen, Bushy Beard Lichen, Usnea strigosa

Bushy Beard Lichen


Posted May 2, 2016 by ABW from Portsmouth

Anne sent us these photos of these spring flowers. The Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) had just emerged. The Celadine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) and Large White Trillium(Trillium grandiflorum ) are in full bloom. The Tulip tree or Yellow Poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is beginning to leaf out.

Jack-in-the-pulpit Celedine Poppy Large White Trillium Tulip tree


Posted May 1, 2016 by kb

Fran and I hiked out the to Tri-state Marker (the point where of CT, RI and MA meet) on Friday, April 29th. We found it, but what price glory? The final climb up to the monument is a killer. Along the way we saw Goldthread, Wood Anemone and Sessile-leaved Bellwort in bloom. We also saw a moth called the Scribbler.

Goldthread  Goldthread blossom  Wood Anemone

Sessile-leaved Bellwort  the Scribbler


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