Botany Blog Plants of the Northeastern U.S.

September 25, 2016

Autumn in the Pinelands

Filed under: North American Native Plants — admin @ 21:32

Visited NJ again the day after the autumnal equinox. There were a number of thoroughworts (Eupatorium spp.). I believe this one is white-bracted thoroughwort (Eupatorium leocolepsis).


The involucral bracts are acuminate and puberulent.


Asters are another group well-represented in the pinelands. This is showy aster (Eurybia spectalibis). Not visible in this image are the phyllaries which are squarrose in the outer series.


Grass-leaved or shaggy blazing star (Liatris pilosa) reaches its northern limit in NJ. This bumblebee was diligently examining every flower for nectar.


The highlight of the trip were two species that are named for the season in which they bloom. Slender rattlesnakeroot (Prenanthes autumnalis) is one of the more attractive members of the genus.


Pine barren gentian (Gentiana autumnalis) is another Atlantic coastal species that reaches the northern limit of its range in NJ. I recall the flowers having a bluish hue, though they photographed purple. I’ve adjusted the color slightly to match my recollection.


Most of the flowers were open, though a few were still in bud. I noticed that plants in the shade were nearly closed, so they might need sunlight to get them to open up.


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