Prester John, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database. Scientific name is Arisaema triphyllum ssp. quinatum, a subspecies of Arisaema triphyllum. This plant also goes by the common name Jack in the Pulpit, but this is a distinct separate subspecies from Arisaema triphyllum ssp. triphyllum, the plant we usually see and call “Jack in the Pulpit.”
Update 04/13/2016: Based on Weakley’s Flora, I have changed this to Arisaema quinatum.
Work and grandkid schedule have left time only for a quick trip down to The Pocket on Wednesday evening. My primary purpose was to determine if the Bellwort down there is Large-flowered or Perfoliate (mission accomplished.) We also took a spin around the boardwalk and made a trip north of the parking area, but did not get up the horse trail toward the falls, so I’m unable to update the status of flowers found along that trail.
We made a quick trip down to The Pocket on Tuesday evening. We made a short 100-yard walk up the horse trail and took a spin around the boardwalk, so I’m unable to update the status of flowers found along the trail to the falls, but here’s what I’ve got.
In the May 5 post, I mentioned that the wild hydrangea blossoms were forming their buds. Since I only had photos of prior year’s blossoms – which I think in themselves are quite beautiful – I wanted to make sure I got a chance to photograph them while in bloom. I managed to squeeze out some time (thanks for giving up work on the ceiling, Cindy!) on Saturday, June 6, and was rewarded with finding the hydrangea at peak of their blossom.
I’m calling an official close to the spring wildflower season at The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain, from the USWildflowers.com perspective. While there are still certainly many wildflowers blooming, the image of the Jack in the Pulpit is symbolic of the status of the spring wildflowers. It is moving into the summer season – no remaining trillium blossoms, only a rare scattering of geranium and phacelia, and even the Canada violets are almost entirely gone. The wild hydrangea blossom buds are starting to form, and the flying gnats are becoming a problem.
While I will still make occasional treks down to The Pocket, future reports will be intermittent (maybe until next spring!) and I hope to bring reports from wildflower expeditions into other areas of the region starting, Lord willing, with a report from Big Frog Mountain next week.
For those who were hoping for, as Ed Sullivan would have put it, “A Really Big Shew,” the time has passed in 2009. However, that is relative to The Pocket, and the abundance of wildflowers still exceed what you’ll find in many areas. While the dominant flower along the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail seems to be Sweet Cicely right now, a species that isn’t exactly ‘showy,’ several of the “signature species” could still be found on Saturday, 4/25.
Cindy and I headed down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain around 4:30 Friday afternoon. I knew the light would be failing on the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail soon after we arrived, but I was committed for Saturday, and wanted to make sure I was able to make a weekly report on the wildflower status during the spring season. If you’re into watching the seed-formation process, this is a good time for you. There is still an abundance of wildflowers in The Pocket, making a trip absolutely worthwhile, but of the “signature flowers,” Virginia bluebell and wood poppy are past blooming or almost so, and the bent trillium is abundant but in decline. The dominant species in the boardwalk area is probably the wild hyacinth, with the wild geranium still providing a pink splash around much of the trail.
I liked this Jack in the Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) peeking over a moss-covered log along the southern end of the Estelle-Pocket trail this past Saturday, 04/11/2009. This trail has a delightful variety of wildflowers along the short section – about a mile – that I’ve walked so far. Stopping to photograph those flowers is the reason I haven’t been able to hike more of it.
By the way, “Photo of the Day” doesn’t imply that I’m going to start posting a photo every day. Folks that know me know better than to expect any consistency in an effort like that.
To avoid crowds like those that were on the Shirley Miller Trail at The Pocket on Pigeon Mountain last week, I headed down there early Saturday morning, arriving at the parking area shortly after 8 AM. The sky was overcast, but the wind was low – a good situation for wildflower photography. My first stop was the dogwood tree beside the parking area.