Posts Tagged The Bronx

What’s The Big Stink?

What’s The Big Stink? . . .

Skunk Cabbage April 2014

Vase on the Forest Floor: Symplocarpus. This North American native is stinky, too. (NYC, April)

Flower in the news . . . Flower in the news in New York City:

What’s the Big Stink?

Good News about to bloom:

My friends at the New York Botanical Garden have enjoyed sharing a rare moment with a most distinctive flowering plant:

Amorphophallus titanum is set to bloom.


“What’s the Big Stink?” When the plant flowers the source of that classic phrase may be known.

One may first hear a name: The Corpse Flower.

Omen? As it may have been when one last bloomed in NYC in 1939? Perhaps.

Magnificent? Certain. The scale, the distinctiveness of size and aroma of this plant nurtured “a decade in the making” has, for all that time, communicated enough to us to garner human attention and celebration.

“Bravo!” to . . . THE BLOOM.

— rPs 07 27 2016


Postscript: Visit the New York Botanical Garden and view the Corpse Flower Cam by following this link: NYBG/125


One may also visit in the field the somewhat similar, and indigenous, Skunk Cabbage , Symplocarpus, across the New York City area in March:


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Wave Hill Revisited

Wave Hill Revisited . . .

Wave Hill in Summer (photo taken 08 24 2014)

Wave Hill in Summer
(photo taken 08 24 2014)

Each season shares its quality of being in expression through plant life. Any green space reacts to and evolves over a temperate calendar year. Flower colors vary, as does the scale, texture, and even shape of this or that plant’s leaf or stem.

Wave Hill in the Bronx sets just such a scene for close looks at cultivated plant life in process. There are 28 acres in The Bronx covered by a flowered pattern as if a giant picnic basket blanket has been spread, supported by bedrock bluffs, summer green, looking over a gorge bottomed by a variegated aquamarine river, its surface roughened by strong currents.

Beyond the artful gardens soft wildflower edges do have a place here. Plant patches now offer a sharper, drier tone of color with some lingering favorites from earlier in the summer: the yolk yellow and china blue Asiatic Dayflower and Lady’s Thumb, its flowered head not unlike an elongated pink mulberry, stem uptight.

Here are a few Wave Hill wildflowers in bloom this August:

American Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana)

American Pokeweed 08 2014

Asiatic Dayflower (Commelina communis)

Asiatic Dayflower 08 2014

Common Mullien (Verbascum thapsus)

Common Mullein 08 2014

Goldenrod (genus Solidago)

Goldenrod 08 2014

Marestail (Conyza Canadensis)

Marestail 08 2014

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

White Snakeroot 08 2014

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis) and Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium purpureum) were also spotted on a bright and dry Sunday afternoon. Such variety brings new views every time one revisits Wave Hill, another must destination for the wildflowers of the west of New York City.

Wave Hill Entrance (photo taken 08 24 2014)

Wave Hill Entrance
(photo taken 08 24 2014)

– rPs 08 26 2014)

Postscript: Wave Hill’s website

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Wave Hill

Wave Hill . . .

View From Wave Hill

View From Wave Hill

We had the pleasure to spend some quality west side time at Wave Hill in The Bronx during their Arbor Weekend at the end of April. What is Wave Hill? I’ll let their mission statement speak:

“Wave Hill is a 28-acre public garden and cultural center in the Bronx overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. Its mission is to celebrate the artistry and legacy of its gardens and landscapes, to preserve its magnificent views, and to explore human connections to the natural world through programs in horticulture, education and the arts.”

Wave Hill offers a complimentary hourly shuttle service from the end of the 1 Train at 242nd Street to the public gardens and back. The ride takes fewer than five minutes and leaves one at the front gate of the property. Within this expanse of preserved land reside trees, both deciduous and coniferous, flower gardens, greenhouses, an art gallery, a café, and a gift shop with adjacent restrooms. The layout is bright and spacious, with lots of flagstone and brick and wood chip trails: everything a New Yorker cramped into a studio might want from a weekend, or weekday, visit.

Wave Hill Entrance

Wave Hill Entrance

The initial view is especially breathtaking: the Hudson River Palisades; an exposed, sheer rock cliff capped by an unbroken line of trees stretching as far as one can see along the New Jersey side of the fjord. (More on this point can be found below in the Postscript)

Up close, along the margins of the grounds full of tended native and ornamental plants, one can find some of the region’s familiar wildflower stars of spring:

Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

Garlic Mustard (Allaria petiolata)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

Yellow Wood Sorrel (Oxalis stricta)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

And something new, too: While we waked across one of the sloping meadows near the Glyndor Gallery, we also found and photographed a first for Wildflowers of the West Village:

Whitlow Grass (Erophila verna)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

(photo taken 04 27 2014)

This member of the Brassicaceae family, the mustards, sports numerous flowers consisting of four paired white petals. The blooms rise on ruddy stems from a small basal rosette, which forms a very tight, tiny bush that is quite attractive.

We encourage anyone with an interest in flowers, trees, gardening, or landscape architecture to visit Wave Hill, and to return again and again as the seasons pass and offer more and different views of this green west end of The Bronx.

– rPs 04 28 2014

Postscript: The riverfront that gives the great view from Wave Hill is under threat from a proposed office tower on the New Jersey side. I encourage all those who wish this undeveloped land to remain in its original, natural state to visit the following website and perhaps even sign the accompanying petition to Protect The Palisades:

VIEW UNDER THREAT! The Palisades in Spring

The Palisades in Spring


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