Thursday, December 29, 2011

Kentucky coffee-tree

Kentucky coffee-tree (Gymnocladus dioicus) is native to Indiana forests, sometimes it is planted as a street tree.  Here are a couple coffee-trees that are easy to find, in the middle of Indianapolis, planted along South Meridian Street. This is near Greek Islands Restaurant, there are more planted up the street closer to Shapiro's.  Notice that the leaflets have all fallen but some of the leaf rachises are still on the tree.  Picture taken December 18, 2011.

Link to previous post on Gymnocladus dioicus:

Link to another page on Gymnocladus dioicus:

Link to rachis:

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Jack Pine on Purdue campus

Here is a Jack Pine tree (Pinus banksiana) on the Purdue campus. It's easy to find, on the north side of Third St. just a few steps east of McCormick Road.  This tree has been recognized as the biggest jack pine tree in the United States.  In its native habitat Pinus banksiana grows under rather extreme conditions and it doesn't normally get this big.  Here on campus it has been planted in fairly good soil with plenty of room to grow.  The dunes area near Lake Michigan has a native population of jack pine.

Picture taken Dec. 16, 2011.

Link to this jack pine tree at Purdue:

Another link to this tree:

Link to Pinus banksiana:

Link to picture of Pinus banksiana at Indiana Dunes State Park:

Jack Pine in art:

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Datura stramonium in the Wabash floodwaters

A patch of last summer's Datura stramonium in the flooded Wabash River, on the Lafayette side of the river. Picture taken December 11, 2011.

Link to previous post on Datura stramonium:

Link to Wabash River levels:

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Frost Aster

Here’s a frost aster that finds its niche in an Indianapolis sidewalk.  One of the Symphyotrichum species with white flowers, probably Symphotrichum pilosum but could be Symphyotrichum ericoides or a hybrid of either.   Whatever the species, these white asters are what you find in urbanized areas wherever a respite from lawn mowing happens for a season or two.  Outside the city it’s known as oldfield habitat.  

Pictures taken Nov. 27, 2011.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bald Eagle at Celery Bog Park

This bald eagle sits on one of the few remaining trees that the Purdue golf course management didn't cut down a few years ago.  Must have been too wet for a guy with a chain saw to get to.

A zoomed up look at the bald eagle.

Link to bald eagle (Haliaeetus leucocephalus):

A blue heron on the west shore of Coot Slough at Celery Bog Park.  The other waterbirds are mostly coots with a few mallard ducks too.

Link to Great Blue Heron (Ardia herodias):

A closer look at some coots at Coot Slough.

Link to previous post on coots (Fulica americana) at Celery Bog Park:

All photos taken November 24, 2011.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Virginia creeper vine in a hackberry tree

Virginia creeper vine shows a striking red color in a hackberry tree.  The leaves of the hackberry tree are turning a bit yellow from the changing season.  The vine is one of the Virginia creeper Parthenocissuses, either Parthenocissus quinquefolia or Parthenocissus vitacea, I don't know which one.  The tree is somewhere behind the People's Brewing building on North 9th St.  Picture taken October 8, 2011.

Link to previous post on Parthenocissus quinquefolia:

Link to previous post on Parthenocissus vitacea:

Link to previous post on hackberry tree (Celtis occidentalis):

Link to Celtis occidentalis:

Wabash River in October 2011

 View of the Wabash River looking upstream from the pedestrian bridge at Lafayette.

Autumn scene, Merou Grotto at the west bank of the Wabash, north of West Lafayette.  Pictures taken October 8, 2011.

Link to Wabash River level:

Friday, October 7, 2011

Persicaria longiseta

Persicaria longiseta, near the Great Mound at Mounds State Park in Madison County.  Persicaria longiseta is not a native plant but has spread into Indiana recently and now is found in many places. 

A view of the Great Mound.  Persicaria longiseta is present in the foreground amongst other plants.  Pictures taken October 1, 2011.

Link to Persicaria longiseta:

Link to Persicaria longiseta:

Link to Great Mound: 

Link to a picture of the bristled ocrea that is the signature of Persicaria longiseta:

Monday, September 26, 2011


Heal-all (Prunella vulgaris).  Common here at Bishop's Woods on the south side of Lafayette.  Picture taken Sept. 24, 2011.

Link to Prunella vulgaris:

Link to Prunella vulgaris:

Friday, September 23, 2011

Green Dragon fruits

The fruits remain from a Green Dragon (Arisaema dracontium) that has withered away after growing in the Celery Bog Park woods over the summer.

A closer look at the fruits.  Pictures taken Sept. 13, 2011. 

Link to Arisaema dracontium:

Link to previous post on Arisaema dracontium:

The fruits are much like those of Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum), which is closely related.

Link to previous post on Arisaema triphyllum:

Monday, September 19, 2011


 A Kalopanax septemlobus tree, planted in Purdue's Hort Park.

Link to Kalopanax septemlobus:

 Fruits and leaves of the Kalopanax tree, with an assassin bug.

A closer look at the assassin bug. 

Link to assassin bug:

Pictures taken Sept. 10, 2011.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Buckeye tree with fruits

Leaves and fruits of a buckeye tree (Aesculus glabra).  The discoloration of the leaves is caused by a fungus, Guignardia aesculi, which is very common on buckeye trees.  The vegetation in the bottom part of the picture is the ever-present Amur honeysuckle (Lonicera maackii).  Along the Wabash Heritage trail, Lafayette side, September 4, 2011.

Link to previous post on buckeye tree:

Link to buckeye tree:

Link to Guignardia aesculi:

Jerusalem artichoke

 A patch of wild Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosa), along the Wabash Heritage Trail, on the Lafayette side, near the golf course. 
A closer look at the Helianthus tuberosus.  Pictures taken September 4, 2011.

Link to previous post on Helianthus tuberosus:

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wild sweet potato vine on the banks of the Wabash

 This wild sweet potato vine (Ipomoea pandurata) grows on the banks of the Wabash River, at the footbridge over the ditch near Lyboult Park. 

Ipomoea pandurata vine on the slope of the bank where the ditch enters the Wabash.  Pictures taken September 4, 2011.

Link to previous post on Ipomoea pandurata:

Monday, September 5, 2011

Persicaria virginiana

A patch of Virginia knotweed (Persicaria virginiana, formerly called Polygonum virginianum).  A common plant in Indiana woodlands.  This is in West Lafayette on the bottomland of the Wabash River near the Purdue crew team facility. 

Pierid butterflies feeding on the Virginia knotweed.  Possibly they are Pieris rapae butterflies.  Pictures taken Sept. 3, 2011.

Link to Persicaria virginiana:

Link to Persicaria virginiana:

Link to Persicaria virginiana:

Link to the Polygonaceae plant family:

Link to Pierid butterflies:

Link to Pieris rapae:

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Rudbeckia laciniata

This is Rudbeckia laciniata, sometimes called Cut-leaved coneflower.  The green leaves of this plant are good to eat in the spring.  Also called sochan.  This plant grows in areas that get wet periodically.  Now it's dry here, in the Wabash River bottomland, although there is plenty of ground water.  This is in West Lafayette near the Purdue Crew team facility.  Very common all up and down the Wabash. Like many plants in the sunflower plant family, it flowers in late summer.

Link to Rudbeckia laciniata:

Link to Rudbeckia laciniata:

Link to previous post on sochan:

Wabash River, Early September 2011

Wabash River at low level, looking upstream from the pedestrian bridge at Lafayette. Sept. 3, 2011.

Link to Wabash River levels:

Thursday, August 18, 2011


At Mascouten Park, where Happy Hollow Creek runs into the Wabash River.  This muscovy duck  (Cairina moschata) swam across the Wabash to the mudflat on the shore.  Duck didn't pay any attention to me.

Duck went straight to the amaranth and started gobbling it up.

Photos taken August 13, 2011.

Link to Cairina moschata

Link to amaranth:

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Horse nettle at the Wabash River

Horse nettle (Solanum carolinense) at the Wabash River.  This is where the now dry Happy Hollow Creek enters the Wabash, at Mascouten Park.

All the white flowers are Solanum carolinense.  A rather large population on the land that was underwater a few weeks ago. Pictures taken August13, 2011.

Link to previous post on Solanum carolinense:

Monday, August 15, 2011

Wabash sandbar

Low water on the Wabash River has exposed this sandbar on the West Lafayette side.  Cocklebur and Waterhemp amaranth are quick to sprout and colonize the new land.  The pedestrian bridge stands in the background.

Waterhemp amaranth on the sandbar.  Pictures taken August 13, 2011.

Link to Wabash River levels:

Link to Amaranthus rudis:

Link to previous post on cocklebur:

Monday, August 8, 2011

Heavy rain over Wabash River

Sunday August 7, 2011, about 2pm.  A rainstorm is passing through Lafayette, heavy rain can be seen upstream and rain is soon to hit the bridge.

About two hours later.  The storm is past and the skies are clear again.

The heavy rain roiled up the water in he Wabash River a bit.  Looking down from the pedestrian bridge at Lafayette.

Link to Wabash River levels:

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Leucospora, Euphorbia and Mollugo

On the left is Mollugo verticillata.  In the middle is Leucospora multifida.  On the right is Euphorbia maculata.  Growing on the west side of the Entomology Environmental Lab on the Purdue campus.  Euphorbia maculata is growing very well in lawns around here as the dry weather is keeping grass from growing. 

Link to previous post on Mollugo verticillata:

Euphorbia maculata is back again as the current botanical name after the synonym Chamaesyce maculata was defeated in a sumo wrestling match.  

Link to previous post on Euphorbia maculata:

A closer look at the Leucospora multifida.  Once placed in the plant family Scrophularaceae, now it is in the family Plantaginaceae.  This little plant can be found in a wide range of habitats from a crack in a city sidewalk to agricultural fields to the banks of streams far from development.  Pictures taken August 3, 2011.

Link to Leucospora multifida:

Link to Plantaginaceae:

Sunday, July 24, 2011


This Cleome grows on Romig St.  Probably an escape from somebody's garden.   The limestone curb next to it is a historic relic.  Often the value of these curbstones are not realized and they are thrown away when the streets are worked on. 

A top view.  Pictures taken July 24, 2011.

Link to spider flower:

Link to previous post on Cleome hassleriana:

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wabash River July 2011

Recent dry weather is keeping the Wabash at a lower level.  This picture taken from the pedestrian bridge at Lafayette July 17, 2011.
Link to Wabash River levels:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Red capped bolete that stains blue

 A Boletus, could it be a Boletus campestris?

Stains blue when bruised.  In Stewart's Woods.  July 16, 2011.

Link to Boletus campestris:

Friday, July 8, 2011


A colony of hairy hedge-nettle (Stachys palustris arenicola) on a sand island at Tapawingo Park in West Lafayette.  Pictures taken June 6, 2011.

Link to Stachys palustris arenicola:

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Osage orange

Here's an Osage orange tree (Maclura pomifera) that's been listed in the Purdue Arboretum collection.  This is on the north side of the Chemistry building. 

The arboretum marker is placed a bit far away.  The Osage orange is the tree in the background.  Pictures taken July 5, 2011.

Link to Maclura pomifera:

Link to Maclura pomifera:

Link to Purdue arboretum:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Polyphemus moth

This battered Polyphemus moth (Antheraea polyphemus) rests on the sidewalk in the West Lafayette village.  Picture taken July 3, 2011.

Link to Antheraea polyphemus: