Botany Blog Plants of the Northeastern U.S.

April 18, 2016

Pine Barrens in Spring

Filed under: North American Native Plants — admin @ 20:23

I visited southern New Jersey this past weekend to see a rare spring flower just starting to bloom. Swamp pink (Helonias bullata) is a federally threatened species that occurs along the coastal plain from NJ (where it is most abundant) to GA. It was once found on Staten Island in NY but is now considered extirpated from the state.

At the site where these were found the plants were most common on the edge of hummocks. The water next to these hummocks was up to 3 feet deep.


Closeup of the flowers. They had a spicy fragrance.


We also saw a couple interesting violets growing along one of the sand roads nearby. This is Viola sagittata var. ovata, which lacks the broad lobes at the base of the leaf typical of var. sagittata.


This is Viola pedata. It is one of the larger-flowered violets. Note the petals lack any hairs (they are not bearded). The leaf segments on these are broader than those of var. lineariloba that I’ve seen in sand prairies along Lake Michigan in IL.


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