Homo sneakeaus

Welcome All

About this blog

       Oklahoma Wildflowers serves as an introduction to The Wonderful World of Oklahoma Wildflowers with a linked list to the site which which has general plant information and images useful for identification and educational purposes.
        Since space is limited here I will add photos and information about plants blooming during the current month. For more detailed information and images go to the linked address. Unless noted, all photos were taken in Oklahoma
        For detailed information on using the Wonderful World of Oklahoma Wildflowers scroll to the end of this page or click on a flower common name on the list.

Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas 2009

A better late than never Merry Christmas!

From George and Christopher Zabawa

Drawing by Christopher Zabawa
Colorized by George Zabawa

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Moth Mullein

Moth Mullein (Verbascum blattaria)

For more info and photos go to The Holding Tank by clicking on link or The Holding Tank list of contents to right.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Canada Lettuce

Canada Lettuce(Lactuca canadensis)

For more info and photos go to The Holding Tank by clicking on link or The Holding Tank list of contents below (on side).

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Purple Locoweed

Purple Locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii)

       A native to the United States, the Purple Locoweed (Oxytropis lambertii), found in the central United States west of the Mississippi and north from Texas to Utah and into Canada, is a member of the pea/bean (Fabaceae) family. Other common names include Lambert Crazyweed, Lambert Loco and Stemless Loco.
       Blooming from mid spring (late April in central Oklahoma) through the summer the Purple Locoweed produces 1/4 in to 1 ½ inch purple flowers with white banded centers. Growing in open areas to eight inches tall with flower stalks to two feet tall, the Purple Locoweed grow in dry rocky or sandy/limestone soils in open areas. Also called Stemless Locoweed, Oxytropis lambertii appears “stemless” since the stem does not grow above ground level.
       Leaves from 4 to 9 inches long are separated into leafelets an inch long. The leaves, flowers stalks and buds covered with white hairs give it a grey/silvery appearance.
       Considered a nuisance by ranchers, the Purple Locoweed contains selenium, a toxic chemical if taken in excess. Considered weedy in some areas and dangerous to cattle, it will be eaten by cattle only when no other food is available such as in over grazed pastureland.

Photos taken Aptil 27, 2008, at Little River State Park, Lake Thunderbird area, abandoned park road near Norman, Oklahoma.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Longbract Wild Indigo

Longbract Wild Indigo (Baptisia bracteata)

For more info and photos go to The Holding Tank by clicking on link or The Holding Tank list of contents below (on side).

Monday, November 2, 2009

Fall 2009 update

Winged Sumac leaves (Rhus copallina)

Sumac Berries, December ice storm 2007

Fall Update 2009

       Central Oklahoma has had it first patchy frost near Norman, Oklahoma. It was not a killing frost but is a sure sign of approaching winter, which is already occurring in other parts of the United States. The plant landscape is looking bleak and trees are losing leaves fast. Blue Bonesets and other Bonosets species have stopped blooming and Asters with flowers are becoming harder to find. They seem to know when it’s time to quit for the season. Patches of yellow Sunflowers still brighten up areas along the roadsides.
       The fall foliage has been beautiful this year. The bright red to burnt orange color of the Sumac leaves such as the leaves of this Winged Sumac (Rhus copallina), as usual, stands out among the other yellow and grey fall colors. Clusters of red sumac berries sometime survive into the winter. (December ice storm 2007)

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Friday, October 16, 2009

Canada Goldenrod

Foraging Digger Wasp (Sphecidae), Cerceris Sp. Photo by Christopher Zabawa

Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L.)

       Found across the United States, and Canada, except Southeastern U.S. states, the native Canada Goldenrod (Solidago Canadensis L.) or Common Goldenrod, a member of the Aster (Asteraceae) family considered weedy or invasive, blooms from mid-summer through fall.
       Canada Goldenrod, found near wood margins or open areas grow in moist, sandy or heavy clay soils.
       The numerous 1/8 inch long flowers occur in dense flat topped clusters along branching stems that tend to droop, due to the weight of the flowers.
       Plants growing from two feet to around four or five feet tall have un-stalked, sparsely toothed leaves to 3 ¼ inches long and 1/2 inch wide. The narrow, lance shaped leaves are found alternately along the hairy stem.
       The Canada Goldenrod, as well as other species of Goldenrods, is an important source of food for foraging insect species such as the Digger Wasps (Sphecidae), Cerceris Sp. pictured above.
       Around 125 species of goldenrods occur in the United States making identification sometimes difficult.
       The genus, Goldenrods (Soldiago) is not responsible for widespread allergic symptoms (hay fever). The pollen of Goldenrods is heavy and does not blow far from the plant. Ragweed (Ambrosia artemisiifolia) and other grass and weed pollen is generally responsible for the miserable allergic symptoms which occur in some individuals in late summer and fall.
       Edible: The cooked young leaves and stems with flowers are edible and a tea brewed from the leaves and flowers.
       The Canada Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis L) is an important medicinal plant. All parts of the plant including flowers, leaves, stems, roots, and seeds have various medicinal properties.
       Flowers: The flowers chewed, is used as treatment of sore throats and other cold symptoms. A tea made from the flowers is used in the treatment of diarrhea, body aches, fevers and snakebites.
       Roots: Treatment of burns
       Seeds: Used in treatment of kidney and bladder disorders, muscle or joint stiffness, and arthritis.
       Other herbal uses include treatment of wounds (antiseptic and bleeding), urinary infections; chronic mucus discharge from nose and throat (common cold), various skin ailments, flu, whooping cough, bladder and kidney disorders, and gastroenteritis (stomach and intestinal inflammation). Used as a treatment for thrush, a fungal disease of the mouth characterized by white patches

        It is not recommended that these plants be used as medicine or food since they may have bad side effects. Similar species, misidentified, may cause illness or death.

Photo taken near my pond, rural east Norman, Oklahoma September 2009

Friday, October 2, 2009

Camphor Weed

Camphor Weed (Pluchea camphorate)

       Camphor Weed (Pluchea camphorata) or Camphor Pluchea, in the Aster (Asteraceae) family grows along the shorelines of lakes ponds and marshes (fresh, salt, and brackish). Found in the central United States, north to Kansas, east to Pennsylvania and south to Florida and Texas, Camphor Weed blooms from mid summer to fall.
       The native Camphor Weed, growing to three feet tall produce dense clusters of small tubular pink to purple flowers to ¼ inch wide, each cluster surrounded by pink/purplish bracts.
       Toothed leaves found alternately along the stem grow to six inches long and two inches wide. Small glands found on both sides of leaves are slightly sticky to the touch and produce a smell of camphor, which if handled, transfers to the hands.
       Another similar species, Pluchea odorata/Pluchea purpurascens (Sweetscent or Marsh Fleabane) occurs in the southern half of the United States from the Pacific to the Atlantic.

       Photos taken in rural east Norman, Oklahoma adjacent to my pond. September 2009

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Holding Tank

Comming soon: “The Holding Tank"
A companion blog to Oklahoma Wildflowers

       This blog will feature plants not yet on the Oklahoma Wildflowers blog and will provide basic information about each species. As descriptions are finished, the species in the Holding Tank will be moved to the Oklahoma Wildflower blog. I will try to add/move new species weekly or as time permits. A link list of species postings in the Holding Tank will also be provided on the Oklahoma Wildflower blog as well as a link to the Holding Tank blog.

Although the main purpose of the new blog is as described above, other topics may inclue:

Photographic tips and camera equipment
Species from other states
Species not yet identified
Possible contributing pics (yet to be worked out)
Environmental issues
More information on the world of Theos (see Homo sneakeaus on main blog for a little more info)

…and any other fun topics I might think of.

The Holding Tank inmate by Christopher Zabawa
Colorization by George Zabawa

Thanks to Christopher Zabawa, my son, for his imaginative drawings.

(C)2009 by Christopher and George Zabawa

Happy Fallday

Happy Fallday

       The first day of fall (Autumn) in the United States, yesterday, was marked by a cool front-bringing cool, Autumn weather along with more rain to central Oklahoma. Fall of course does not mean the end of plant growing season but merely marks the seasonal transition of species (which had already started). Many late summer and fall species are still thriving and blooming such as Sunflowers, various Bonesets including my favorite, Blue Boneset, the vibrant Blue Sage, Tall Thistles and many others to numerous to mention.
       The end may be near however, since the average first freeze, according to NOAA, in central Oklahoma occurs from October 2nd to October 11th. For more information on freeze dates for specific Oklahoma cities and towns, go to the link below.

Average First Frost in Oklahoma (NOAA)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Pale Smartweed

Pale Smartweed (Polygonum lapathifolium)

       Found across the United States, the native Pale Smartweed or Curlytop Knotweed (Polygonum lapathifolium) grow on the shores of lakes, ponds and other moist areas such as ditches, riverbanks and moist fields. A member of the Buckwheat (Polygonacea) family, the Pale Smartweed may colonize areas and become weedy or invasive in some areas.
       Blooming from summer to fall, the three foot tall Pale Smartweed produces 1/8 inch white flowers with white to pink tinged stamens. The flowers which have no petals, but modified petal-like leaves called sepals, form in cluaters along and near the apex of the stems.
       Leaves found alternately along the stem, grow to six inches long and to ½ inch wide. The lanceolate, leaves, tapering at both ends, are attached to the stem by a film-like membrane sheath (ocrea). Stems are hairless and smooth.
       The plain white flower of the Pale Smartweed and hairless stems distinguishes it from other Smartweeds such as Pennsylvania Smartweed (Polygonum pensylvanicum) which have bright pink flowers.
       Young leaves of the Pale Smartweed are ediable and parts of the plant used in treatment of fevers, stomach ailments and burns. Soap like lather produced from this plant may be used as soap substitute for washing.

       It is not recommended that these plants be used as medicine or food since they may have bad side effects. Similar species, misidentified, may cause illness or death.

Photos taken in rural east Norman, Oklahoma adjacent to my pond. September 2009

Monday, September 14, 2009

Slender Ladys Tresses

Slender Ladys Tresses (Spiranthes lacera)

       Found scattered throughout the eastern half of the United States and into Canada, the native Slender Lady’s Tresses Or Northern Slender Lady's Tresses (Spiranthes lacera), a member of the Orchid (Orchidaceae) family, grow in fields and open wooded areas.
       Blooming from late summer into fall, the Slender Lady’s Tresses produce irregular ¼-inch white flowers with green lip petals that are jagged, coarsely fringed or toothed. The flowers form in a distinctive spiral pattern along the stem, typical of species in this family (Spiranthes). The green colored lip petal of the Slender Lady’s Tresses distinguishes this species from other Lady’s Tresses.
       Growing to two feet high the plant appears leafless in the fall. The leaves to two inches long and ½ inch wide, found at the base of the plant, disappear at maturity.
       The Slender Lady’s Tresses are sometimes referred to by the scientific names Spiranthes beckii or Spiranthes gracilis.
       Note: The Orchid family, the largest plant family, containing over 20,000 species and found mostly in tropical areas, occur as far north as the Artic. Although the largest in species numbers, rarely are they found in large numbers. Many species of Orchids are endangered or threatened due to habitat loss or commercial exploitation.

Photos taken rural east Norman, Oklahoma (on my pond dam) Sept 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

False Daisy

Photo above by Christopher Zabawa

Photo above by Christopher Zabawa

False Daisy (Eclipta prostrata)

       Found in the eastern half of the United States, California, Nevada and worldwide, the native False Daisy, a member of the Aster (Asteraceae) family and named for its daisy-like appearance is also known as Yerba de Tajo.
       Commonly found along pond margins, stream margins and other moist/wet areas, the False Daisy blooms from mid-summer into fall. Considered a noxious weed in some areas of its range, such as Oklahoma, it is endangered in New York.
       This sprawling plant, to two feet long, produces 1/3 inch white flowers with many white ray flowers (ray florets) and off white, four lobed disk flowers (disk florets) from midsummer into fall. The visible stamens tips (anthers) are yellow to light brown. The flat green fruit, beginning as green, turns to brown/black at maturity.
       The leaves, lance shaped and coarsely toothed, found opposite along the stem, grow to five inches long and one-inch diameter. Both the reddish stems and leaves have a scattering of white hairs.
       Eclipta prostrata, is also known by the scientific names Eclipta alba, Eclipta erecta ,Verbesina alba and Verbesina prostrata L.
       The young leaves and cooked shoots of plant are edible.
        Eclipta prostrata is an important medicinal plant in China and other areas of the world. It has numerous medicinal uses including treatments for hair loss (leaves), liver ailments, fevers, skin aliments (cuts, sores, athlete's foot), scorpion stings, and an antidote for snakebites. A dye extracted from the plant is used in tattoo ink/dye. Extracts from this plant can be purchased on internet and at local, herbal stores.
       This plant contains nicotine, which acts an insecticide and other active chemicals.

        It is not recommended that these plants be used as medicine or food since they may have bad side effects. Similar species, misidentified, may cause illness or death.

Photos taken at Sutton Wilderness, near Norman Oklahoma and at my pond in rural east Norman.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Valley Redstem

Valley Redstem (Ammannia coccinea)

       Commonly known as Valley Redstem, Purple Ammannia and Scarlet Toothcup the Valley Redstem (Ammannia coccinea) a member of the Loosetrife (Lythraceae) family, found primarily in the eastern half of the United States, is also found in California, New Mexico and Arizona. This native plant, blooming summer through fall and found in moist/muddy areas including pond and stream margins, is considered threatened in Pennsylvania and weedy in other areas of it range.
       Growing to 12 inches and taller, found sprawling or upright, the Valley Redstem produce ¼-inch purple to pink, four petaled flowers found at the leaf axis. Lance shaped leaves, found opposite along the stems, are two inches and longer and ¼ inch wide becoming wider near the stem.
       Note: Unlike the non-native Purple Loosetrife (Lythrum salicaria) also in the Loosetrife (Lythraceae) family and considered a noxious weed in many states, the Valley Redstem is not on the most unwanted list.

Photos taken at Sutton Wilderness in Norman, Oklahoma

Monday, August 31, 2009

Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus)

       The tall, majestic sunflower, a member of the Aster (Asteracea) family, is found throughout North America. Commonly seen along roadsides, fields and other open areas it is the state flower of Kansas.
       Blooming from late summer into fall the native Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) grows to six feet tall and produces yellow flowers two to five inches in diameter. The ovate leaves grow to a foot long. The stems, leaves and all parts of the Common Sunflower (except flowers) are roughly hairy.
        Prehistorically the Sunflower, cultivated by Native Americans for food and medicine is still grown and varieties of sunflowers, such as the Russian Giant, are cultivated for their oil rich and nutritious seeds. Sunflower oil, used for deep frying etc., may be purchased in many super markets and grocery stores. .
        The seeds produced by the Common Sunflower are an important source of food for wild birds and other wildlife.
        The flowers of the sunflower, facing the sun, seemingly “track” the sun. However, it is not the flower which turns, but the stem. The stem growing faster on the shaded side turns the flower in the direction of the sun.

       Photos taken at Sutton Wilderness in Norman, Oklahoma and Little River State Park near Norman, Oklahoma.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Clammyweed 2009

Clammyweed (Polanisia dodecandra)

       The beautiful and exotic looking native Clammyweed, found across most of the United States, grows in open areas and in rocky or sandy soil and blooms in late summer.
       The leaves and stems of the Clammyweed produce hairs that extrude a sticky substance, which when handled, adheres to the hands resulting in a “clammy” feeling. The Clammyweed growing to two feet tall have leaves comprised of three leaflets ranging from ½ to an inch and longer. The white flowers, pointing upwards, have four narrow petals ¾ inch long and longer with purple tinged veins. The prominently notched petals give them a heart shaped appearance.
       Note: There are various sub-species of Clammyweed. Two common sub-species are Polanisia dodecandr spp. dodecandra commonly known as Redwhisker Clammyweed and named for the numerous red whisker-like stamens it produces and Polanisia dodecandra ssp. trachysperma known as Sandyseed Clammyweed.
       Members of the Caper family (Capparaceae or Capparidaceae) are related to the Mustard family (Brassicaceae) and have been combined in some classification schemes.

       Photos taken at Chickasaw National Recreation Area, Veterans (Wilson) Lake area near Sulphur, Oklahoma.