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Thursday, May 21, 2009

Plants of My Street Part 3: Ferns and Vines

Now that I've shared the flowers, trees, and shrubs of my street I'm not quite sure how to categorize the remaining plants, so we'll start with this post featuring ferns and vines.

Licorice fern (Polypodium glycyrrhiza) grows all over the rocks along one side of the street, and is common elsewhere on the island growing off of trees. Its name comes from the fact that its rhizomes (underground stems) taste like licorice:

Sword ferns (Polystichum munitum) are large evergreen ferns that carpet forest floors across the region. Their huge leaves were commonly used by native peoples to line pit ovens, stuff bedding, and pad food and other items in storage. There aren't many of them growing this close to town, but I found one:

English ivy (Hedera helix) is one of the most invasive plants in the US, right up there with scotch broom. Back in Portland I spent several muddy mornings helping to clear my college campus of the pest, which climbs over everything and chokes out many native species. I hadn't ever noticed the bizarre flowers before, which have already turned into clusters of blue berries in the week or two since I took this photo:

One of the most striking plants on the street is western trumpet honeysuckle, also known as orange honeysuckle (Lonicera ciliosa), a native vine with bright, beautiful trumpet-shaped flowers that open right off the last leaf of each branch. They're a favorite of local hummingbirds:

Finally, I discovered this little creeping flower growing right along the stairs up from the marina. The flowers look almost violet-like, but I haven't been able to place it in any of my field guides. I wonder if its an "escapee" cultivar? Any ideas as to what it might be?

This is the third post in a series featuring all my botantical discoveries right on my own street. See the others here.


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Nice to see we are getting our own back!!! Ivy who'd have thought would become an invasive alien! Your unID is Ground Ivy,Glechoma hederacea, no relation to the 'normal' ivy a European/SW Asian plant but apparently doing rather well in the Rockies now. Grows well on my former NR. ferns baffle the doodah out of me!



Monika said...

How did I know you would be able to ID that plant for me? Thanks Dave!

Anonymous said...

It's Kenilworth Ivy.

A European creeping herb (Cymbalaria muralis) with palmately lobed leaves and solitary, pale purple flowers.

[After Kenilworth Castle, Kenilworth.]