A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
March 15, 2001 

Page 6: White Raceme, Astragalus, and Corn Salad

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

The white flower at right, which has been our mystery flower for the past two weeks, has finally been identified, now that the cyme-like flower head has nearly reached full bloom. It is Valerianella amarella, commonly known as Corn Salad.

Go to Page 7

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

 

 

In the western sector of the park, bordering on the ravine or draw that extends along the park's western edge, are found a number of relatively tiny plants with pinnately compound leaves and pea-like blue flowers (shown below). These are members of the Pea Family (Leguminosae), but are nothing like the common garden pea. If the leaves were tipped with tendrils (these are not; instead they have a terminal leaflet where the tendrils would normally be found) they would probably be members of the genus Vicia, and good for cattle forage. Again, if the flowers were on a long spike of 20-75 to each spike (these are not, having but 1-4 flowers showing at a time), they might be members of the genus Hedysarum, equally good for cattle forage. That seems to leave a group of plants of the genus Astragalus, which are quite poisonous. Fortunately, they are also quite small, and so inconspicuous as to be practically unnoticeable. As the seed pods develop, we will be able to determine their identity more precisely. 


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