Today is an incredibly beautiful, perfect, late summer day. This is much appreciated after a week of very hot, humid weather. I have been away this past week, but we had the same weather where I was, so I didn’t escape it. I did miss kayaking, too, and it felt great to get back out on the water! The creek is looking beautiful, though there is a lot of boat traffic, as always at this time of year, and I worry about the too-fast speeds of the boats, manned by people perhaps unaware of the serious impact of the erosion caused by the high wake.
I came across some photos of a favorite flower that grow here on the creek, and I wanted to share it: it is Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis).
Here is my entry the first time I discovered it, August 5, 2006:
I found this incredible flower! It is a shrub, and has a woody stem. The flowers are round composites, with many individual flowers on one round orb. It has many styles sticking out, which make it look like a pincushion. The flowers, themselves, are white, tubular, lily-like, and about 1/3-inch long, with long filaments and yellow anthers. Once pollinated, the stamens and blossoms fall off, leaving a greenish-yellow globe, which then dries to a stiff, dry, brown orb about the size of a large marble. Before the blossoms appear, it starts out as a green, densely packed orb. The leaves are opposite, entire (smooth edges, not toothed) and egg-shaped. They have 7-10 pairs of veins on each leaf. As the individual flowers die on the cluster, they turn rust-brown. The shrub can get to be over 2 feet high and likes to grow in wet places. Evidently good pollen, for it’s covered with bees!