Ragwort and a Few Others

Top Photo: Ragwort or groundsel in bloom in Explore the Wild.

The ragwort we have growing in Explore the Wild, next to the entrance to the Floating Walkway, is blooming (planted). It’s golden ragwort (Packera aurea). Ragwort (Packera – formerly Senecio) can be found throughout the east in one form or another. Each region seems to have its own variety.

Ragwort, small yellow composite.

What we have growing has rounded, toothed basal leaves which become lobed or dissected further up the 18”- 24” stalk which terminates in a cluster of small yellow flowers.

Golden ragwort base leaves.
Ragwort, leaves on stalk.

It’s one of the only flowers in bloom right now, though mahonia, which starts flowering in late November into the winter is still showing yellow flowers. Also, lenten rose with its down-facing flowers, and tiny blue Veronica Persica can be seen along the side of the path throughout the outdoor loop.

Mahonia, Dino Trail and throughout.
Lenten rose on Dino Trail just past stone columns near entrance.
Tiny, blue, Veronica persica.

It’s easy to miss veronica due to its size. And it doesn’t bloom on rainy or overcast days. Another common name for this little groundcover plant is bird’s-eye speedwell.

Bird’s-eye speedwell.

These flowers are not native, except golden ragwort which is common in the western portion of our state, but they are present. This, in case you’ve seen the plants and were interested in knowing what they were. You now know.

Incidentally, if you haven’t been paying attention to the purple martin migration (you can’t keep up with everything), some of those large purple swallows have been spied within our fair state, and beyond.

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