Posts Tagged New York City Wildflowers

May’s Namesake

May’s Apple Takes Center Stage
(NYC 05 2021)

This spring’s weather has been very amenable to the often elusive and shy mayapple, Podophyllum peltatum, which has appeared to be quite prolific in New York City’s shaded green spaces this year:

The Mayapple sports a single flower, which later transforms into a pale green, somewhat edible, fruit.
(NYC 05 2021)

— rPs 05 31 2021

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Earth Day 2021

Caltha palustris, the Marsh Marigold member of the buttercup family, holds the spring gold as well as the dandelion.
(NYC 04 22 2021)

Earth Day 2021 in New York City could be called “Brrrth Day” as it began with Fahrenheit temperatures in the 30s.

Sun in a sky dotted by bright clouds has added little warmth on account of high winds, but the light, so spring clear and pure as to sharpen and magnify everything, shines on the new green leafing out as well as a full spectrum of spring flowers both domesticated and wild.

Viola sororia f. priceana: The Ghetto Meadow is a Beauty to Behold.
(NYC 04 22 2021)

Happy Earth Day 2021

— rPs 04 22 2021

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11 Years (But Who’s Counting?)

First Flower of 2021: Common Snowdrop, Galanthus nivalis

“Wildflowers of the West Village will be an ongoing document, beginning with the 2010 growing season” . . .

So began Wildflowers of the West Village on this date in 2010. Last year’s 10th anniversary was overshadowed by New York (and the rest of the world) locking down at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. This year, that crisis still remains, but the outlook is much more positive, and today is a bright and sunny day in the city, the first full day of spring, full of new wildflower beauty that cannot be contained.

A short Sunday morning walk in the neighborhood reveals:

Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta

Groundsel, Senecio vulgaris

Mouseear chickweed, Cerastium fontanum

Red deadnettle, Lamium purpureum

The diversity of species and range of shape and color punctuating the newly greening grass is affirming to behold, just one of the reasons a little blog about wildflowers in of all places, New York City, has lasted for over a decade, but who’s counting?

— rPs 03 22 2021

Postscript: Visit the post that started it all here: https://wildflowersofthewestvillage.com/2010/03/22/welcome/

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February Flats

The Flat Face of February Flora
(02 26 2021)

Snow melts to reveal lawns like tundra, spongy cold underfoot, and full of hardy basal rosettes, flat green faces waiting for spring when once again wild plants may rise to stand up straight.

Meanwhile, as soon as some sunshine sustains on the earth, there are poking through the cracks the early bloomers like the red deadnettle, Lamium:

Lamium Soaks up the Sunlight
(02 26 2021)

Spring’s start is less than a month away. The wildflowers of the West Village are getting ready.

— rPs 02 28 2021

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Snow Blooms

Snow Aster
(NYC 01 20 2021)

The asters of autumn have long gone to seed. The parks sport the brown and tan tones of skeletal plant stems, dried leaves, and fallow edges now, within winter’s center, dressed also in white from a January snow.

— rPs 01 31 2021

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2020 Hindsight

Groundsel Star: Senica vulgaris
(12 2020)

The year 2020 comes to a close. One thinks, in hindsight, this was one best skipped, until one pauses and realizes life, all life, including blooming plants, has continued as usual. Our human lives in civilization shall, too, and may even return to some kind of normal, maybe even this next new year.

Deadnettle Alive: Lamium purpureum
(12 2020)

Farewell, 2020 . . . Here’s to 2021!

— rPs 12 31 2020

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Looking Up

Contrast Enhances Color
(NYC 11 2020)

I looked down for inspiration in October. I looked up and found it, again, in November.

The fall season progresses, and as the tree’s leaves thin out, the colors of those that remain on the branches appear even more vivid due to the open space, the contrasting blue, or white, or gray sky above.

Years ago, as a new Romantic poet in his senior year at university, I was first struck by this perceived increased intensity of the foliage as the season aged. I had a daily walk up a hilly avenue lined by mature trees to reach my morning classes, and on one sunny day I looked up, and a poem appeared fully formed:

My Perfect Autumn Day

Blue and gold days

Have come to call.

Gilded trees, warm,

And clear, cool air;

I stare, this morning,

At a mighty mosaic.

We call this fall,

My perfect autumn day;

I say, each leaf is a coin,

Pure gold for my pocket.

If this season were a vault,

I would lock it,

And save them forever.

The poem retains the memory, the treasure, of that day. The same can be done with words now, added and aided by the convenience of the smartphone camera.

Looking up, one can see the gold of the birch, gingko, locust, and Norway maple against a bluebird sky. The white cloud of a rainy day allows the same yellows to glow in place of the sun.

“Still” – Abstract Expressionism
(NYC 11 30 2020)

The blue above also enhances the reds of the oak, and the full spectrum of the sweetgum, known also as liquidamber, and the savory tans of the London plane tree, whose overhead spread can resemble a cathdral when planted in rows . . .

Plane Tree Cathedral Vault
(NYC 11 200)

. . . . Which reminds me of a stanza from another poem composed on another autumn walk:

The tall plane trees sigh.

A broken spot of blue

In the gray and white sky

Grows as it goes by.

The fall is a wonderful time to spend time outside. Inspiration can be found, or recalled. The truth of a little poem, written so long ago, may very well be that each and every one is a perfect autumn day.

— rPs 11 30 2020

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Carpets of Color

NYC 10 2020

Carpets of Color . . .

The grass, the uniform green lawn that provides the basic background for the rest of the vegetation both cultivated and wild, dresses up at the end of October in a multitude of autumnal tones.

NYC 10 2020

The large brown fans of the oak and sycamore, the delicate gold leaf of the locust and elm, the hearty reds and oranges of the sweetgum, together combine into a blended harvest tapestry.

NYC 10 2020

These carpets of color are another kind of blooming, a transient, lovely time for the simple green grass to costume up on Happy Halloween.

🎃

— rPs 10 31 2020

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First Signs of Fall

First Signs of Fall . . .

White Snakeroot, Ageratina altissima, has honeybee company.
(NYC 09 2020)

There is a distinct chill in the air as the monochromatic green has begun to be edged with more ocherous colors.

Crisp air. Fall leaves.

The Autumnal Equinox occurred in New York City today at 9:30 a.m. EST.

Some of the first signs of fall are already in bloom. The rich color of jewelweed can be found around shaded areas near the water just as white snakeroot, one of the hardiest, most ubiquitous of the season’s wildflowers, lines park paths and other green edges of the city.

Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis, holds all the colors of autumn in a single bloom.
(NYC 09 22 2020)

Happy first day of fall.

— rPs 09 22 2020

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August Harvest

August Harvest . . .

A summer salad of Asiatic dayflower, Galinsoga, and Lady’s Thumb.
(NYC 08 31 2020)

Family and friends have begun to share photos, and salads, from their gardens as the month of August comes to a close. The wild patches of Manhattan’s west side have also reached their peak of productivity.

A morning walk, or a stroll to watch the evening sun set behind the Hudson, will also be accompanied by a diverse harvest of native and immigrant wildflowers in full bloom and fruit. This salad bar of sorts includes:

American Pokeweed, Phytolacca americana

(NYC 08 17 2020)

Bittersweet Nightshade, Solanum dulcamara

(NYC 08 31 2020)

Broadleaf Plantain, Plantago major

(NYC 08 31 2020)

Butter and Eggs, Linaria vulgaris

(08 08 2020)

Chicory, Cichorium intybus

(NYC 08 2020)

Common Black Nightshade, Solanum nigrum

(NYC 08 17 2020)

Common Mallow, Malva neglecta

(NYC 08 17 2020)

Galinsoga, Galinsoga parviflora

(NYC 08 17 2020)

Lady’s Thumb, Persicaria maculosa

(NYC 08 17 2020)

Marestail, Conyza canadensis

(NYC 08 31 2020)

There is quite a selection to see. August’s harvest is here.

— rPs 08 31 2020

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