The reading today was from John Burroughs, "Nature Near Home.” The walk was through the International Garden to the Purple Trail. Then on to the Orange Trail to the river bluff with Mountain Laurel (Kalmia latifolia). After that we walked the Orange Trail to the upper parking lot to finish.
In the International Garden in the Endangered Plant area, we discussed the blooming Plum Leaf Azalea (Rhododendron prunifolia). It is early for it to be blooming. It's bloom time is June to September. Actually, one of the original reasons for establishing Callaway Gardens was to preserve the habitat for this plant found in that area. We have seen it at the bottom of the canyons at Providence Canyon State Park, which is south of Columbus, GA.
Just before the Purple Trail in the Indian Plant section, we found Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum).
We must have missed the blooms of horse-sugar (Symplocos tinctoria) which grows on the Purple Trail because the flowers are supposed to come before the new leaves. Those new leaves were just coming out today.
Out the deer fence, we found the leaves for violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea), as well as green and gold (Chrysogonum virginianum). At the Oconee River turning on the Orange Trail, lyre-leaved sage (Salvia lyrata) was blooming. Climbing up the bluff along the river we talked about the flowering mountain laurel (Kalmia latifolia). The anthers are tucked into the petals at the red mark. The pollen is dispersed when the stamen springs out. It can do it on its own, or if an insect knocks it. In the latter case the pollen is dispersed on the bee or other pollinator. Surprisingly, the rattlesnake weed (Hieracium venosum) was also in bloom. I think of this as a summer plant, but its bloom time range is April to August!
The Orange Trail from the Oconee River to the upper parking lot yielded many gems:
Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) was still blooming after three months.
Sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis) which is distinguished by its fertile frond so different from that of netted chain fern, which we did not see.
Hooked buttercup (Ranunculus recurvatus)
Kidney-leaf (Ranunculus abortivus)
Violet wood sorrel (Oxalis violacea) was blooming in several places.
Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)
Cut-leaf coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata) was only leafing out.
Yellow three parted violet (Viola tripartite)
Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum)
Rattlesnake fern (Botrychium virginianum)
Broad beech fern (Thelypteris hexagonoptera)
Piedmont Azalea (Rhododendron canescens)
Sweet Shrub (Calycanthus floridus)
Lady fern (Athyrium filix-femina)
Common wood sorrel (Oxalis stricta)
Blue star (Amsonia tabernaemontana)
Atamasco lily (Zephyranthes atamasca)
We retired to Donderos for Coffee and Conversation.