On Monday. I saw the first one within a couple dozen feet of the trailhead:
- pink lady’s slipper (Cypripedium acaule) (orchid family) – Lady’s slipper is another one I remember my mother showing me, though I think perhaps not this kind. I saw this within 50 feet or so of the trailhead. It apparently enjoys highly acidic soils, often growing under pines and oaks. I saw dozens of these today, and they were all in these circumstances – white pines and red/black oaks, mainly. The understory had a bunch of hickory, shagbark I believe, and sassafras. It made me happy for some reason to see something like that possibly succeeding oak/pine in a Massachusetts badland.
- yellow stargrass (Hypoxis hirsuta) (amaryllis family) – I think wikipedia has this in the liliaceae. Not that personable a plant. Growing in the middle of a trail, in only one place at all.
- greenbriar (Smilax rotundifolia) (lily family) – Smilax is the only shrubby lilial (if that word’s forgivable) in the region. There are a lot of them, and I only keyed this out in Newcomb’s, not the Peterson Trees & Shrubs I just got. It was quite common.
- blue toadflax (Linaria canadensis) (figwort family) – I saw this last year, but I think only ever next to a lamppost on Mass. Ave. It was happy in the sandy, sunny land up by the tower on the skyline trail.
- wild peppergrass (Lepidium verginicum) (mustard family)
- maple-leaved viburnum (Viburnum acerifolium) (honeysuckle family) – also called “dockmackie”. This was very common.
And at the Mystic River Reservation on the way home:
- lesser stichwort (Stellaria graminea) (pink family) – This is essentially another chickweed, with big flowers.
- Guelder-rose (Viburnum opulus) (honeysuckle family) – This is a lot like cranberry viburnum, but European.