#421 Low Smartweed (Persicaria longiseta)

30 April

Present in North America and Europe as an introduced species and often a weed.

Persicaria longiseta is an annual herb with stems 30 to 80 centimeters (12–32 inches) long, sometimes reaching one meter (40 inches). The hairless, branching stems may root at lower nodes that come in contact with the substrate. The leaves are lance-shaped and up to 8 centimeters (3.2 inches) long by 3 cm (1.2 inches) wide. They have bristly ochrea. The inflorescence is an elongate cluster up to 8 centimeters (3.2 inches) long and contains many pink flowers. The fruit is a small, smooth achene.

In its native region this plant is a common weed of rice paddies. It was introduced to North America near Philadelphia around 1910 and probably spread via the railroads. It is present in much of the eastern United States and much of Canada. It grows in moist habitat types such as wetlands, as well as dry and upland habitat. It can be found in meadows, marshes, mudflats, riverbanks, floodplains, levees, and lowland and upland forests. It is invasive in some areas

#420 Purple-flowered Raspberry (Rubus odoratus)

29 April 2021

Native to eastern North America, from Nova Scotia west to Ontario and Wisconsin, and south along the Appalachian Mountains as far as Georgia and Alabama.

Rubus odoratus is a shrub growing to 3 meters (10 feet) tall, with perennial, not biennial, stems (unlike many other species in the genus). Also, unlike most other related species this plant does not have thorns.

#419 Northern Blue Flag (Iris versicolor)

28 April 2021

A species of Iris native to North America, in the Eastern United States and Eastern Canada. It is common in sedge meadows, marshes, and along streambanks and shores. A flowering herbaceous perennial plant, growing 10–80 cm (4–31 in) high. It tends to form large clumps from thick, creeping rhizomes. The unwinged, erect stems generally have basal leaves that are more than 1 cm (1⁄2 in) wide. Leaves are folded on the midribs so that they form an overlapping flat fan. The well developed blue flower has 6 petals and sepals spread out nearly flat and have two forms. The longer sepals are hairless and have a greenish-yellow blotch at their base. The inferior ovary is bluntly angled. Flowers are usually light to deep blue (purple and violet are not uncommon) and bloom during May to July. Fruit is a 3-celled, bluntly angled capsule. The large seeds can be observed floating in fall.

#418 Pine Siskin (Spinus pinus)

27 April 2021

Occasional winter visitors – not seen every year in this area. Generally nest in open coniferous or mixed forests, but also inhabit parks, cemeteries, and suburban woodlands, where they breed in ornamental conifers or deciduous trees. While they favor feeding in open forest canopies where cone seeds are abundant, they’ll forage in habitats as diverse as deciduous forests and thickets, meadows, grasslands, weedy fields, roadsides, chaparral, and backyard gardens and lawns. They flock to backyard feeders offering small seeds. Mineral deposits can lure them to otherwise unattractive habitats like winter road beds that are salted to melt snow and ice.

Pine Siskins are fairly common, but their numbers can be difficult to estimate due to the large and hard-to-predict movements they make each year. Partners in Flight estimates that populations have declined by 80% since 1970.

#417 Brown House Moth (Genus Hofmannophila – presumably Hofmannophila pseudopretella)

26 April 2021

Hofmannophila pseudopretella, the brown house moth, is a moth species in the concealer moth family(Oecophoridae), wherein it belongs to the subfamily Oecophorinae. It is the only known member of its monotypic genus, although it seems to be a close relative of Borkhausenia.

This Asian species was introduced to Europe and other continents in the 1840s, and is now found almost worldwide, although it is especially common in Britain. It is a synanthropic species that lives in private houses and commercial buildings. Smaller numbers of individuals also occur outside human settings, with larvae being found in birds’ nests, feeding on droppings and detritus. A serious pest in domestic and commercial settings due to the larvae’s destructive feeding habits. Larvae feed on various manmade foodstuffs and household materials. These include stored cereals, dried fruit, seeds, clothes and furniture fabric, fur, and wood floor inlays

#416 House Fly family (Genus Eudasyphora)

25 April 2021

Eudasyphora are a genus within the family Muscidae

Muscidae, some of which are commonly known as house flies or stable flies due to their synanthropy, are worldwide in distribution and contain almost 4,000 described species in over 100 genera.

Most species are not synanthropic. Adults can be predatory, hematophagous, saprophagous, or feed on a number of types of plant and animal exudates. They can be attracted to various substances including sugar, sweat, tears [1] and blood. Larvae occur in various habitats including decaying vegetation, dry and wet soil, nests of insects and birds, fresh water, and carrion.

The antennae are three-segmented and aristate; vein Rs is two-branched, a frontal suture is present, and the calypters are well developed. The arista is often plumose for the entire length. The hypopleuron is usually without bristles; generally, more than one sternopleural bristle is present. The R5 cell is either parallel-sided or narrowed distally. Vein 2A is short and does not reach the wing margin. Adults of many species are passive vectors of pathogens for diseases such as typhoid fever, dysentery, anthrax, and African sleeping sickness.

#415 Devil’s Beggarticks (Bidens frondosa)

24 April 2021

A North American species of flowering plant in the aster family, sunflower family. It is widespread across much of Canada, the United States, and Mexico It is known in many other parts of the world as an introduced species, including Europe, Asia, Morocco, and New Zealand. Its many common names include devil’s beggarticks, devil’s-pitchfork, devil’s bootjack, sticktights, bur marigold, pitchfork weed, tickseed sunflower, leafy beggarticks, and common beggar-ticks.

Annual herb, usually growing to 20 to 60 centimeters (8-20 inches) tall, but it may reach 1.8 meters (72 inches or 6 feet). The stems are square in cross-section and may branch near the top. The leaves are pinnate, divided into a few toothed triangular or lance-shaped leaflets usually 6 or 8 centimeters long, sometimes up to 12. The inflorescence is often a solitary flower head, but there may be pairs or arrays of several heads. The head contains many orange disc florets. Most flower heads lack ray florets but some may have a few small yellow rays. The fruit is a flat black or brown barbed cypsela up to a centimeter long which has two obvious hornlike pappi at one end.

The barbed pappi on the fruit help it stick to animals, facilitating seed dispersal.

Grows best where there is ample soil moisture and sun, especially in areas where something has disrupted the existing plant community leaving bare ground. It can survive in water saturated soils, frequently found growing at the water’s edge, in drainage ditches or on flood plains.

#414 Longroot Smartweed (Persicaria amphibia var. emersa)

23 April 2021

Persicaria amphibia (syn. Polygonum amphibium) is a species of flowering plant in the knotweed family known by several common names, including longroot smartweed, water knotweed, water smartweed, and amphibious bistort. It is native to much of North America, Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa, and it grows elsewhere as an introduced species and sometimes a noxious weed.

Native to a large area across the northern hemisphere, including Europe, Asia, North America, and parts of Africa. It has been introduced elsewhere, such as South America and other parts of Africa.

It grows in many types of wet habitat, such as ponds, streams, and marshes. It is a rhizomatous perennial herb which takes a variety of forms and is quite variable in morphology. It may be an aquatic plant, growing submerged or floating in water bodies, it may grow in muddy and wet areas which are periodically inundated, and it may grow in moist spots on land, such as in meadows.

Dry-land and fully aquatic plants are sometimes considered different named varieties of the species

#413 Spotted Lady’s Thumb (Persicaria maculosa)

22 April 2021

Persicaria maculosa (syn. Polygonum persicaria) is an annual plant in the buckwheat family, Polygonaceae. Common names include lady’s thumb, spotted lady’s thumb, Jesusplant, and redshank. It is widespread across Eurasia from Iceland south to Portugal and east to Japan. It is also present as an introduced and invasive species in North America, where it was first noted in the Great Lakes region in 1843 and has now spread through most of the continent

Native to Europe and Asia, where it can be mistaken for Polygonum minus. The latter has narrower leaves, usually less than 1 cm wide. It has been introduced to North America and is naturalised throughout the mainland continent, growing along roadsides, riverbanks, and on fallow ground. In the United States, it is very similar to Pennsylvania smartweed, but redshank has a fringe of hairs at the top of the ochrea, something which Pennsylvania smartweed lacks. The species has also been found in New Zealand and Australia.

#412 Broad-leaved Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis)

21 April 2021

A North American species of herbaceous perennial plants in the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It is native to the eastern and central parts of the United States and Canada, from Nova Scotia west to Ontario and the Dakotas, and south as far as Alabama and Louisiana. It grows in a variety of habitats including mesic upland forests, well drained floodplain forests, seepage swamp hummocks, and rocky woodlands.

The plant is called the “zigzag goldenrod” because the thin, wiry stem zigs and zags back and forth, changing direction at each node (leaf attachment point). The plant bears sometimes as many as 250 small yellow flower heads, some at the end of the stem, others in the axils of the leaves. The leaves are very broad, almost round, but with an elongated tip at the end and large teeth along the edges