Long Lake Wildflowers

Swamp Milkweed (Asclepias Incarnata)

Smooth Rose, Meadow Rose (Rosa Blanda)

The small peninsula that helps frame our bay is filled with these beauties. I’m no gardener. And flower identification is not my skill. But I’m pretty sure that the top flower is swamp milkweed. Asclepias incarnata. They like to grow at the water’s edge, where this bunch is thriving. Their roots are especially adapted to living in wet soil that is oxygen starved.

Most varieties of milkweed are poisonous. They contain cardiac glycosides that can interfere with heart function. Some bugs love to munch on them anyway. Milkweed beetles. Milkweed bugs ¬†And the caterpillars that end up as Monarch butterflies. These bugs tolerate the poison and typically signal their poisonousness to birds by being colored yellow and black. You can learn a lot about swamp milkweed here and here. Birds use the hairs of the milkweed to line their nests. Oh, the flowers aren’t poisonous. Still, I would think it best not to toss them in your next salad.

The second beauty is Smooth Rose, a/k/a Meadow Rose. Fancy scientific name: Rosa Blanda. It grows to about three feet high. It likes moist soil. With Long Lake constantly lapping up onto the peninsula, it can’t get much more moist. And this year we’re going for the record on rainfall. The wildflowers are apparently lovin’ in.

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