VIEW THE MOBILE VERSION of www.homegardening.ca Informational Site Network Informational
Privacy
Home Gardening in General Fruits & Vegetables Plants & Flowers
Articles - Directory - Indoor Gardening - Small Gardens Cucumbers - Apple Growing - Asparagus - Walnut Growing - Vegetables Flowers - Clovers

Most Viewed

Wild Lupine Old Maid's Bonnets Wild Pea Sun Dial
Yellow And Orange Flowers
Dutchman's Pipe Pipevine
Pointed Blueeyed Grass Eyebright Blue Star
Magenta To Pink Flowers
Pitcherplant Sidesaddle Flower Huntsman's Cup Indian Dipper
Moonshine Cottonweed Nonesopretty
Plant Garden Stonecrop Witches' Money
Struthiola Erecta Smooth Struthiola
Michauxia Campanuloides Rough-leav'd Michauxia


Least Viewed

Erica Cerinthoides Honeywort-flower'd Heath
Struthiola Erecta Smooth Struthiola
Michauxia Campanuloides Rough-leav'd Michauxia
Ipom&oeliga Coccinea Scarlet Ipom&oeliga
Disandra Prostrata Trailing Disandra
Buchnera Viscosa Clammy Buchnera
Lychnis Coronata Chinese Lychnis
Magenta To Pink Flowers
Yellow And Orange Flowers
Jewelweed Spotted Touchmenot: Silver Cap Wild Balsam: Lady's








MAYFLOWERS







(Cratoegus coccinea) Apple family Flowers - White, rarely pinkish, usually less than 1 in. across, numerous, in terminal corymbs. Calyx 5-lobed; 5 spreading petals inserted in its throat numerous stamens; styles 3 to 5. Stem: A shrub or small tree, rarely attaining 30 ft. in height (Kratos = strength, in reference to hardness and toughness of the wood); branches spreading, and beset with stout spines (thorns) nearly 2 in. long. Leaves: Alternate, petioled, 2 to 3 in. long, ovate, very sharply cut or lobed, the teeth glandular-tipped. Fruit: Coral red, round or oval; not edible. Preferred Habitat - Thickets, fence-rows, woodland borders. Flowering Season - May. Distribution - Newfoundland and Manitoba southward to the Gulf of Mexico. "The fair maid who, the first of May, Goes to the fields at break of day And washes in dew from the hawthorn tree Will ever after handsome be." Here is a popular recipe omitted from that volume of heart-to-heart talks entitled "How to Be Pretty though Plain"! The sombre-thoughted Scotchman, looking for trouble, tersely observes: "Mony haws, Mony snaws." But in delicious, blossoming May, when the joy of living fairly intoxicates one, and every bird's throat is swelling with happy music, who but a Calvinist would croak dismal prophecies? In Ireland, old crones tell marvelous tales about the hawthorns, and the banshees which have a predilection for them. So much for folklore. As one might suspect from the rather disagreeable odor of these blossoms, they are most attractive to flies and beetles, which, carrying pollen from older flowers, leave some on the stigmas that are already mature in newly-opened ones. A concave nectar-secreting disk, not concealed by the filaments in this case, is eagerly pilfered by numerous little short-lipped insects which render no benefit in return; but many others assist in self-pollination after the anthers ripen. The splendid monarch butterfly (Anosia plexippus), the banded purple (Basilarchia arthemis), whose caterpillar feeds on hawthorn foliage, and the light brown hunter's butterfly [American painted lady] (Pyrameis huntera [Vanessa virginiensis]) are, among the visitors seen flitting about this exquisite little tree in early May, when it is fairly white with bloom. The RED-FRUITED THORN (C. mollis), more hairy on its twigs, petioles, calices, and fruit than the preceding, but so like it in most respects it was formerly accounted a mere variety, is an earlier and even more prolific bloomer, the generous, large clusters of malodorous flowers coming with the leaves in April, and lasting until the common hawthorn starts into lively competition with it for insect trade. Numerous long, slender thorns, often measuring a finger-length, distinguish the COCKSPUR or NEWCASTLE THORN (C. Crus-Galli), whose abundant small flowers and shining, leathery leaves, dull underneath, are conspicuous in thickets from Quebec to the Gulf. Immense numbers of little bees, among many other visitors, may be noted on a fine day in May and early June about this showy shrub or tree. Because it blooms later than its rival sisters, it has the insect wooers then abroad all to itself. While most of our beautiful native hawthorns have been introduced to European gardens, it is the WHITE THORN or MAY (C. Oxyacantha) of Europe and Asia which is most commonly cultivated here. Truly a shrub, like a prophet, is not without honor save in its own country. WHITE SWEET CLOVER; BOKHARA or TREE CLOVER; WHITE MELILOT; HONEY LOTUS (Melilotus alba) Pea family Flowers - Small, white, fragrant, papilionaceous, the standard petal a trifle longer than the wings; borne in slender racemes. Stem: 3 to 10 ft. tall, branching. Leaves: Rather distant, petioled, compounded of 3 oblong, saw-edged leaflets; fragrant, especially when dry. Preferred Habitat - Wastelands, roadsides. Flowering Season - June-November. Distribution - United States, Europe, Asia. Happy must the honeybees have been to find that the sweet clover, one of their dearest delights in the Old World, had preceded them in immigrating to the New. Immense numbers of insects - bees in great variety, wasps, flies, moths, and beetles - visit the little blossoms that provide entertainment so generous and accessible; but honey-bees are ever especially abundant. Slight weight depresses the keel, releasing the stigma and anthers therefore, so soon as a bee alights and opens the flower, he is hit below the belt by the projecting stigma. Pollen carried by him there from other clovers comes off on its sticky surface before his abdomen gets freshly dusted from the anthers, which are necessarily rubbed against while he sips nectar. On the removal of his pressure, the floret springs back to its closed condition, to protect the precious nectar and pollen from rain and pilferers. As the stigma projects too far beyond the anthers to be likely to receive any of the flower's own pollen, good reason is there for the blossoms guarding their attractions for the benefit of their friends, which transfer the vitalizing dust from one floret to another. By clustering its small flowers in spikes, to make them conspicuous, as well as to facilitate dining for its benefactors; by prolonging its season of bloom, to get relief from the fiercest competition for insect trade, and so to insure an abundance of vigorous cross-fertilized seed, this plant reveals at a glance some of the reasons why it has been able to establish itself so quickly throughout our vast area. Both the white and the yellow sweet clover put their leaves to sleep at night in a remarkable manner: the three leaflets of each leaf twist through an angle of 90 degrees, until one edge of each vertical blade is uppermost. The two side leaflets, Darwin found, always tend to face the north with their upper surface, one facing north-northwest and the other north-northeast, while the terminal leaflet escapes the chilling of its sensitive upper surface through radiation by twisting to a vertical also, but bending to either east or west, until it comes in contact with the vertical upper surface of either of the side leaflets. Thus the upper surface of the terminal and of at least one of the side leaflets is sure to be well protected through the night; one is "left out in the cold." The dried branches of sweet clover will fill a room with delightful fragrance; but they will not drive away flies, nor protect woolens from the ravages of moths, as old women once taught us to believe. The ubiquitous WHITE or DUTCH CLOVER (Trifolium repens), whose creeping branches send up solitary round heads of white or pinkish flowers on erect, leafless stems, from May to December, in fields, open waste land, and cultivated places throughout our area, Europe, and Asia, devotes itself to wooing bees, since these are the only insects that effect cross-fertilization regularly, other visitors aiding it only occasionally. When nets are stretched over these flowers to exclude insects, only one-tenth the normal quantity of fertile seed is set. Therefore, for the bee's benefit, does each little floret conceal nectar in a tube so deep that small pilferers cannot reach it; but when a honeybee, for example, depresses the keel of the papilionaceous blossom, abundant reward awaits him in consideration of his services in transferring pollen. After the floret which he has been the means of fertilizing closes over its seed-vessel on his departure, it gradually withers, grows brown, and hangs downward, partly to indicate to the next bee that comes along which fords in the head still contain nectar, and which are done for; partly to hide the precious little vigorous green seed-pod in the center of each withered, papery corolla from the visitation of certain insects whose minute grubs destroy countless millions of the progeny of less careful plants. Thus the erect florets in a head stand awaiting their benefactors; those drooping around the outer edge are engaged in the most serious business of life. Sometimes a solitary old maid remains standing, looking anxiously for a lover, at the end of the season. Usually all the florets are then bent down around the stem in a brown and crumpled mass. But however successfully the clover guards its seeds from annihilation, its foliage is the favorite food of very many species of caterpillars and of all grazing cattle the world around. This is still another plant frequently miscalled shamrock. Good luck or bad attends the finding of the leaves, when compounded of an even or an odd number of leaflets more than the normal count, according to the saying of many simple-minded folk. The little RABBIT'S-FOOT, PUSSY, OLD-FIELD, or STONE CLOVER (T. arvense) has silky plumed calices to hold its minute whitish florets, giving the dense, oblong heads a charming softness and dove color after it has gone to seed. Like most other clovers, it has come to us from the Old World.





Next: FLOWERING SPURGE

Previous: COMMON HAWTHORN: WHITE THORN SCARLETFRUITED THORN RED HAW



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 824