Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh

Latest

Heal-All (Prunella vulgaris), White Form

Heal-All, or Self-Heal, is everywhere; it tolerates a good deal of mowing, and seems to be indifferent to sun or shade, so it can establish itself in urban lawns as easily as at the edge of the woods. The color of the flowers is variable; this white form, however, is quite unusual. This patch grew in St. Michael’s Cemetery on the South Side Slopes, where it was blooming in the middle of August.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

PRUNÉLLA L. SELF-HEAL. Calyx tubular-bell-ehaped, somewhat lO-nerved, naked in the throat, closed in fruit ; upper lip broad, truncate. Corolla ascending, slightly contracted at the throat and dilated at the lower side just beneath it, 2-lipped; upper lip erect, arched, entire; the lower reflexed-spreading, 3-cleft, its lateral lobes oblong, the middle one rounded, concave, denticulate. Filaments 2-toothed at the apex, the lower tooth bearing the anther; anthers approximate in pairs, their cells diverging. — Low perennials, with nearly simple stems, and 3-flowered clusters of flowers sessile in the axils of round and bract-like membranaceous floral leaves, imbricated in a close spike or head. (Name said to be from the German Bräune, a disease of the throat, for which this plant was a reputed remedy. Often written Brunella, which was a pre-Linnean form. )

P. vulgàris L. (HEAL-ALL, CARPENTER-WEED.) Leaves ovate-oblong, entire or toothed, petioled, hairy or smoothish; corolla violet or flesh-color, rarely white, not twice the length of the purplish calyx. — Woods and fields, Nfd. to Fla., westw. across the continent. June-Sept. (Eu.)

Var. laciniata L Some upper leaves tending to be pinnatifld. (P. laciniata L.) — Said to be introd. near Washington, D. C. (Adv. from Eu.)

The pictures in this article have been donated to Wikimedia Commons under the Creative Commons CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication, so no permission is required to use them for any purpose whatsoever.

Soft Agrimony (Agrimonia pubescens)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Agrimonies are notoriously difficult to sort out, so we would welcome a correction if this identification is wrong.

These delicate racemes of yellow flowers appear in the open woods, and you are likely to miss them if you are not looking for them. The plants in these pictures were blooming in North Park in early August.

Older references usually list this as Agrimonia mollis, a synonym. Gray describes the genus and the species:

AGRIMONIA [Tourn.] L. AGRIMONY. Calyx-tube top-shaped or hemispherical, the throat beset with hooked bristles, indurated in fruit and inclosing 2 achenes; the limb 5-cleft, closed after flowering. Petals 5, yellow. Stamens 5-15. Styles terminal. — Perennial herbs, with interruptedly pinnate leaves, crenate-serrate leaflets, and small spicate-racemose flowers. Bracts 3-cleft. (Name a corruption of Argemone.)

Fruiting calyx more or less top-shaped, deeply furrowed.

Leaflets (exclusive of the little intermediate ones) chiefly 5-0, ovate to obovate or elllptic-oblong.

Rhachis appressed-vlllous or glandular-puberulent, without long widely spreading hairs.

Boots fusiform-thickened toward the end; lower surface of leaflets velvety-tomentose, scarcely or not at all resinous-dotted.

Larger leaflets 5-9, oblong or elliptical; fruiting calyx 4-5 mm. wide (exclusive of spreading hooks).

A. mollis (T. & G.) Britton. Grayish-pubescent, 6-15 dm. high; leaflets oblong, mostly obtuse, soft to the touch on both surfaces; fruit broadly top-shaped, the hooks borne on a broad disk, the outer widely spreading. (A. pubescens Wallr.?) — Open woods, dry ground, etc., Mass. to N. C, and westw.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Sharp-Winged Monkey-Flower (Mimulus alatus)

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERAAn attractive snapdragon-like flower that likes wet locations; this one was growing in a ditch along a country lane near Cranberry, where it was beginning to bloom in late July.

Most botanical references place the genus Mimulus in the Snapdragon family, Scrophulariaceae; but modern genetic studies have persuaded botanists to remove it to the family Phrymaceae, the Lopseed family, which had previously had only one species in it.

Gray’s description of this species depends on his description of M. ringens, so we print that description in brackets:

MÍMULUS L. MONKEY FLOWER. Calyx prismatic, 5-angled, 5-toothed, the uppermost tooth largest. Upper lip of corolla erect or reflexed-spreading, 2-lobed; lower spreading, 3-lobed. Stigma 2-lobed; lobes ovate. Seeds numerous. — Herbs, with opposite (rarely whorled) leaves, and mostly handsome flowers. (Diminutive of mimus, a buffoon, from the grinning corolla.)

Corolla violet-purple (rarely white); erect glabrous perennials; leaves feather-veined.

[M. ríngens L. Stem square, 1 m. or less high; leaves oblong or lanceolate, pointed, clasping by a heart-shaped base, serrate; peduncles longer than the flower; calyx-teeth taper-pointed, nearly equal; corolla personate, 2-4 cm. long. — Wet places, N. B. to Man., and southw. June-Sept.]

M. alàtus Ait. Stem winged at the angles; leaves oblong-ovate, tapering into a petiole; peduncles shorter than the very short-toothed calyx; otherwise like the preceding. — Wet places, Ct. to s. Ont., Kan., and southw.

KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERA

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.