Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Meadow Parsnip & Ground Beetle


This post took longer than most to finish because I was determined to find out what these mystery plants were. I first found them two weeks ago, growing about 15 feet apart, with similar leaves. Only one had the beginnings of flower buds. A few days later I went back to see them and found that the taller one's buds were red! Wow. I had no idea what this could be. The smaller one had young (still green) buds, but I assumed they would be the same. Back again and the smaller one's flower was yellow. Yellow? Yes, definitely yellow. By this time I could tell that the flowers were compound umbles, which would make identification possible. After drawing the plants and the beautiful ground beetle that scurried past where I sat, I headed home to my field guides.

They weren't easy to find. After some false starts, and thinking for a while the yellow one was possibly a Golden Alexander, then a Heart-leaved Alexander (but what was the red one?). I ruled those out when I found an entry online showing a photo of Meadow Parsnip (Thaspium trifoliatum) in yellow and an inset photo of the alternate color, purple. Purple? But the photo showed the same reddish flower as my plant - not what I call purple! Very satisfying.


4 comments:

Susan said...

What a discovery!! Can't wait to study meadow parsnip!

Hemlock said...

What a beautiful nature journal! I discovered your site after finding purple meadow parsnip while hiking in Georgia and trying to learn more about this lovely plant. Excited to learn they also may be yellow-- I'll have to keep an eye out.

Jean Mikulla said...

Your journal pages are so beautiful. Are you anywhere close to Simpsonville? And how can I receive informa about your classes?

Helen Correll said...

Hello Jean, Thank you so so much for your comments and for your interest in classes. I'm in Spartanburg, which is not too far, but not sure what you think about the distance. I'm having a nature journaling workshop next Saturday morning (August 19th)at my studio and surrounds, which might be a fun way to see where the classes will be starting in September. The workshop will be from 9-12, then we will all have lunch on my screened porch. The cost for this fun morning is $75.

We could talk more about classes at the workshop, but I am also about to send an email out to my current students about the upcoming schedule and I will add you to my list. The email should answer any questions, but I need your email address. Please send to me at: helencorrell@gmail.com.

Let me know if you are interested in the workshop and I will tell you more.

Again, thanks so much!

Helen