By Steve Young
I took a stroll along the Mohawk Bike Path in Aqueduct, Niskayuna today to see what wildflowers I could find. The trail runs at the base of a slope where it meets the floodplain of small creeks flowing into the Mohawk River. Here are the wildflowers that greeted me along the way.
One of the first wildflowers visible was the beautiful bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis.
Some of them were already in fruit.
Early blue cohosh, Caulophyllum giganteum, flowers as the leaves expand.
The endless patterns of trout lily leaves, Erythronium americanum, continue to amaze.
Most trout lilies were in bud.
A few of the flowers were open!
Some mayapple leaves, Podophyllum peltatum, were still tightly folded, waiting for warmer weather.
Others were on their way out, like unfolding butterfly wings.
Virginia waterleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum, was actually wet from the light showers.
But its common name actually comes from the leaf pattern that looks like water droplets covering the leaves.
Sharp-lobed hepatica, Anemone acutiloba, was in flower but the flowers were mostly closed in the wet weather.
The showers added water droplets to the fuzzy leaves of common mullein, Verbascum thapsus.
The sun came out at times and the these leaves of early meadow rue, Thalictrum dioicum, were lit up from behind.
Wetland sedges arise from their old leaf bases in a vernal pond.
Red elderberry flowers, Sambucus racemosa var. racemosa, are still in bud and the leaves look like something is affecting them.
Other wildflowers were still in leaf, like many of the violets, but I look forward to coming back with the Friday Field Group this week to see how far along thing are .