Flynn Bogs Chapter VI

CHAPTER VI - Large Pond


One plant that actually grows in this man-made pond is Ludwigia leptocarpa (Angle-stem Water Primrose, not shown). Its five-petaled yellow flowers are pretty, but other species of the genus have showier blossoms.

It is the edge of this pond that holds the most interest for botanists. Here one can find Pitcher Plants, Bladderworts, Rose Pogonia orchids, Sphagnum, Sundews, and other plants already mentioned on this tour.

Most noticeable of the new plants are the yellow and white buttons of Eriocaulon (Pipewort)

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and Xyris (Yellow-Eye-Grass). Both genera can be quite tricky to key to species, especially after pressing and drying.

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The dense pink-flowered spikes belong to Marsh Milkwort (Polygala cruciata, not shown). There are twenty-seven species of Polygala in Texas, but this is the only one that tends to prefer bogs.

There is a lot of belly-botany to be done on the pond rim. Marsh Pennywort (Hydrocotyle sp.) has minuscule flowers but charming round, scalloped-edged leaves.

Cap Burmannia (Burmannia capitata, not shown) has very tiny white flowers only the eagle-eyed can discover. Its closest cousins, however, are in the showy orchid family. Despite its name, Larger Water-Starwort (Callitriche heterophylla, not shown) is still a little plant. Appreciation of its flowers requires a microscope.

Hypericum mutilum (Dwarf St. John's-Wort) is a little bigger. It has small yellow flowers on slender stems.

Hypericum crux-andreae (Ascyrum stans, St. Peter's-Wort) is larger still. It is actually a very small shrub. It has yellow, cross-shaped flowers. Its most distinctive feature is its unequal sepals--the outer two much larger than the inner two.

This pond edge has a rich grass, sedge, and rush flora. Beakrush (Rhynchospora sp.) is common,

as is Cyperus strigosus (False Nut-Grass).

Juncus trigonocarpus (not shown) is another species that grows as a surprise here, far to the west of its normal range. It doesn't look much different from other rushes at first glance, but under the microscope its unusual seeds have a tiny white tail at either end.

The outer rim of this wet pond edge boasts a few characteristic woody species. Nyssa sylvatica (Black Gum) is a tall tree related to Dogwoods. It has clusters of unisexual flowers followed later in the season by drupes.

Myrica cerifera (Wax Myrtle) is a dioecious shrub. Both male and female plants have resinous, aromatic foliage. The waxy covering of the small, blue-gray berries can be used to make candles.


Chapter VII - Sandy Uplands above the Pitcher Plant Bog and Pond


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