For any use of my photos, please contact me at monika.wieland (at) gmail (dot) com

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Wildflowers on the Sand Dunes

If you asked me in what sort of habitat one should look for wildflowers, I would probably say meadows. If pressed further I might say forests, wetlands, or roadsides, but sand dunes probably wouldn't have been on the least not until now. With the recent sunny weather I have taken a few walks in the dunes above South Beach and was amazed at the number of wildflowers in bloom.

The pea family (Fabaceae) has by far the most representatives:

Beach pea, Lathyrus japonicus

American vetch, Vicia americana

Small-flowered lupine, Lupinus polycarpus

There are at least two other species of lupine present as well....seashore lupine, which isn't flowering yet, and this species pictured above. There are too many similar types for me to be sure what this one is.

There are several other families represented as well:

Winter Cress species, Barbarea spp. in the mustard family

5/17 EDIT: This was incorrectly identified as yellow monkeyflower - it is actually fiddleneck (Amsickia spp.)

This little gem is the most numerous of the bunch, covering some of the fields in a light blanket of pink. I haven't narrowed down what it is yet, though. Any thoughts? EDIT 5/17: It's common storks-bill (Erodium cicutarium).


Lancashire and Lakeland Outback Adventure Wildlife Safaris said...

Dunes are great for wildflowers! Used to be a warden on a dune site many many years ago - early '80s -and I've still got some of the sand!!!! Could your mystery plant be a species of willowherb or a cranesbill?



Heather said...

Thank you for sharing the flowers you found at the sand dune Monika! Not sure what your mystery flower is, unfortunately. Also wanted to say that I love all of the sunset and sunrise photos you've posted recently. Very lovely!

Monika said...

Dave - That must have been a blast! It does look something like a willowherb but what's throwing me off is that all the similar native species in my book have notched petals, so it remains a mystery for now....

Heather - I'm glad you're enjoying all the photos! Thanks for commenting.