Bouquet • Cedarburg Bog

We went on a guided walk through Cedarburg Bog today with the Friends of the Cedarburg Bog. It was a short walk in blazing heat along a boardwalk. I don't have much to say about the walk itself, since it was a slow shuffle with everyone staring down at the bog floor, looking for fascinating things to ask the naturalist about. We learned about how it's less a bog than a string fen, and how there are soil types with names like gyttja, and how a depression in a bog is called a flark.

I also took some pictures of flowers! Here's a quick bouquet.

There were some rather astounding patches of Showy Lady's-Slipper (Cypripedium reginae). This is a very large, very beautiful orchid, growing up to 40" tall. Unfortunately for all of us taking pictures, the most photogenic specimens were guarded by poison sumac. So here's a Showy Lady's-Slipper looking the other way.

Showy Lady's-Slipper (Cypripedium reginae) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

Tufted or Swamp Loosestrife (Lysimachia thyrsiflora) was blooming in abundance. It has bright yellow pom-poms growing at the base of leaves along the stems.

Tufted Loosestrife (Lysimachia thyrsiflora) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

Here are the leaves of the most poisonous plant in North America, Spotted Water-Hemlock (Cicuta maculata). It's one of a number plants also known as Cowbane. It can kill you in less than an hour and it doesn't take much to do it. Are you also morbidly fascinated by poisonous plants and fungi?

Spotted Water-Hemlock (Cicuta maculata) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

The next is kind of a crap photo, but I like the plant so here it is: Labrador Marsh Bedstraw (Galium labradoricum). It's one of the many species of bedstraw with minute, white, four-petalled flowers. You can identify this bedstraw by the fact that it's growing in a wetland, and its leaves grow in four. It's also strongly indicative of a healthy, unaltered landscape.

Labrador Marsh Bedstraw (Galium labradoricum) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

It's always a delight to see wild cranberries. These are Small Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos), a close relative of the commercial cranberry. They have small pink flowers that look like shooting star flowers.

Small Cranberry (Vaccinium oxycoccos) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

So the next one I would typically call a water lily, but did you know that it's also known as Spatterdock? Or Bull-head Lily? There you go. The first part of its scientific name comes from the Persian: Nuphar variegata. "Nufar" means water lily. But does it also mean Spatterdock?

Spatterdock (Nuphar Variegata) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

Marsh Cinquefoil or Purple Marshlocks (Comarum palustre or Potentilla Palustris) has a gorgeous purple flower. I don't have much more to say about it.

Marsh Cinquefoil (Comarum palustre) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch 

Finally, it's the Purple Pitcher-Plant (Sarracenia purpurea). This insectivorous plant, which is the provincial flower of Newfoundland & Labrador, is well-known for its leaves that grow in the shape of a pitcher. It collects water, adds some digestive enzymes of its own, and digests the bugs that fall in. But we're here to talk about its strange flowers, which stick up prominently out of bogs on long stalks. The sepals look like a rubber parasol holding broad red petals. The petals drop off quite quickly after pollination, leaving a structure that looks something like a maroon UFO. How can you not love them?

Purple Pitcher-Plant (Sarracenia purpurea) © 2017 Jonathan Abresch

Nature is wonderful. Hope you enjoyed!