Wildflowers forum: central Illinois ditch wilds

Views: 520, Replies: 18 » Jump to the end
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Aug 14, 2014 8:41 AM CST
August of every year prompts an excursion to an isolated drainage ditch out in the vast acreage of central Illinois soybean and corn fields. This annual expedition is to capture pics of the elusive Red Cardinal Flower (Lobelia) in it's habitat.
This ditch is surrounded by the aforementioned farm fields w/ no residential or commercial (farm) operation centers as far as the eye can see. The road is a single lane dirt one. I discovered the site years ago when I worked as a field inspector for an agronomic company. The ditch's ability to maintain as a viable ecological wildflower niche is amazing. This type of spot in the wild (so to speak) is getting quite rare around here.
Some of the pics aren't the best as they were from the other side of the ditch. Ditch is over 6' deep and probably 15' or so across. Another factor may be age and use of camera (Canon SX 130, has taken in excess of 75000 pics over the last few years). My less than perfect eyesight doesn't help either...
Lobelia
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/111032 Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/0c6888

Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/11de4d Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/20cc44

Swamp Milkweed - favorite for Monarchs and bees

Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/a77f35 Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/4f0fc3

Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/8f71ba bees Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/f2b83c Monarch Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/5edd7a buds

White Milkweed
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/4cd795

Elderberry


stalking the wild asparagus
brought some home Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/2d61a4

Bottlebrush bush
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/5e5caa Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/c3a5d9 Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/67955b Viceroy BF

Arrowleaf
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/b119b8 lobelia w/ arrowleaf flower to the right

Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/e29f09 Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/a7a640

Boneset
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/1a86ee

Rose hips
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/56ae9c

mint
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/b48581

Oat grass
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/50be99



Isolation of area
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/896717 Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/fdd91e Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/f0daaf
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/69d331 tracks in the ditch base

Members of the expedition - wife (Deby), dog (Plato), and myself (shadow)
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/6670a3

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 14, 2014 9:00 AM CST
Intriguing diversity. Makes me wonder how it all got there--runoff, birds, seeds tracked in by other critters? Pretty nifty site and sight. Smiling

What breed(s) is Plato? Lovey dubby
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Aug 14, 2014 9:58 AM CST
Siberian Husky
Thumb of 2014-08-14/jmorth/76f6d7

Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
dirtdorphins
Aug 14, 2014 10:53 AM CST
Plato is one super cute puppy!!

I am still trying to wrap my head around an annual expedition to a ditch in farmland Blinking to see wildflowers--is central Illinois
so immaculate that ya-all don't have wildstuffs except in isolated ditches? is this the only place the elusive cardinal lobelia can be found? Fascinating ditch--really. Is this a one-of-a-kind ditch or do you have lots of wild-ditches scattered between vast farms? Sorry, I am just very curious trying to comprehend the set-up.

Thank you for sharing pictures of your expedition--it is really neat to see the elusive cardinal lobelia and friends taking refuge in a ditch. I hope they let that ditch be!
Name: Debra
Garland, TX (NE Dallas suburb) (Zone 8a)
Service dogs: Angels with paws.
Dragonflies Dog Lover I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Photography Bee Lover Plays in the sandbox
Butterflies Region: Texas I sent a postcard to Randy! Charter ATP Member Annuals Garden Sages
Image
lovemyhouse
Aug 14, 2014 11:52 AM CST
awwwww gorgeous puppy Lovey dubby
If you don't ask, the answer is always 'no.'
Name: josephine
Arlington, Texas (Zone 8a)
Hi Everybody!! Let us talk native.
Native Plants and Wildflowers Organic Gardener Butterflies Garden Ideas: Master Level Forum moderator I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
I helped plan and beta test the plant database. Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Birds Cat Lover Xeriscape
Image
frostweed
Aug 14, 2014 11:59 AM CST

Moderator

That was a wonderful expedition Jay, thank you for showing it to us. Smiling
Wildflowers are the Smiles of Nature.
Gardening with Texas Native Plants and Wildflowers.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Aug 15, 2014 8:50 AM CST
@dirtdorphins: in response to your query -
Most of the available land in these parts is farmland for corn a/o soybeans (cen. Il. reportedly has some of the best soil for agronomic purposes in the world). There are quite a few ditches that serve these farms but most are manicured by said farmers and thus unable to support wildflowers. There are other areas, usually in a/o near smallish forests where wildflowers may be present. State parks/lakes have wilds in some abundance. I am sure some other sites in cen. Il. have the native red lobelia but the site noted above is the only one I know close enough to visit that do support a colony of the reds.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Dirt
(Zone 5b)
Plant Lover: Loves 'em all! Garden Photography Bee Lover Region: Utah Photo Contest Winner: 2014 Celebrating Gardening: 2015
Photo Contest Winner: 2015 Photo Contest Winner: 2016
Image
dirtdorphins
Aug 17, 2014 6:45 AM CST
Thanks J,
I suppose it would stand to reason then that you also have some of the best soil in the world to work with for your purposes ? which is a mighty fine benefit of living in farmland!
I used to live in the middleofnowhere MN surrounded by corn/soy, and a whole lot of unmanicured wilds. I really, really miss the deep, blackgold topsoil! and the rain, neither of which I am blessed with out west.
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Aug 17, 2014 10:27 AM CST
Conversely, you doubtless have a more varied scenery to visually enjoy.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
Image
BrendaVR
Sep 13, 2014 1:34 PM CST
That white Swamp Milkweed sure is nice! Do you think it is a natural variation or an escaped cultivar? (I've seen white cultivars for sale lately...but would be cool to have found a 'natural' version.)

Also the one you have labeled "Bonset" (assuming you had meant Eupitorium perferatum) is likely Tall Bonset/Tall Throughwort - Eupatorium altissimum as the leaves are not perforated. E. altissimum is quite rare in my neck of the woods so that would be a great find up here. ;P
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Sep 16, 2014 5:58 PM CST
Brenda, sorry for the late response.
The white milkweed must be a natural, I'm quite certain none of the farmers around there have planted any cultivar seed in/around the ditch.
You're right about boneset; lately, some eye problems have contributed to a rash of typographical errors on my part.
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: BrendaVR
Ontario, Canada (Zone 6a)
Dragonflies Butterflies Region: Canadian
Image
BrendaVR
Sep 23, 2014 9:48 PM CST
Thats cool, I've never seen the white one in my area but would love to have one...prity.
Erk! Hope the eye problems can get better...nothing more annoying (to me anyways) if I can't see right...and I have a compulsive need to correct miss-ids....hopefully its helpful...
If we had no holes in our leaves we would have no butterflies!
Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Oct 20, 2014 4:27 PM CST
Just found this thread and have a question please.
For the Bottlebrush bush what is the botanical name of that one?
Thank You!
I would enjoy walking with the dog along the ditches; you have a lovely setting there. Thumbs up
Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
Name: Jay
Nederland, Texas (Zone 9a)
Region: Texas Region: Gulf Coast Charter ATP Member I helped beta test the first seed swap I helped plan and beta test the plant database. I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database!
Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Tip Photographer Garden Sages Garden Ideas: Master Level Hibiscus
Image
Horntoad
Oct 20, 2014 5:16 PM CST
greene said:Just found this thread and have a question please.
For the Bottlebrush bush what is the botanical name of that one?
Thank You!
I would enjoy walking with the dog along the ditches; you have a lovely setting there. Thumbs up


That looks like Buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)
wildflowersoftexas.com
texasnatureonline.com


central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Oct 20, 2014 6:19 PM CST
Jay's right
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Oct 20, 2014 6:28 PM CST
Jack, did you eat those asparagus?
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



Name: Greene
Savannah, GA (Sunset 28) (Zone 8b)
Rabbit Keeper Critters Allowed Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier Garden Ideas: Master Level Garden Sages
Herbs Region: Georgia Region: United States of America Native Plants and Wildflowers Dog Lover Composter
Image
greene
Oct 20, 2014 7:14 PM CST
Thanks. I kind of thought that's what it might have been. Thank You!

Sunset Zone 28, AHS Heat Zone 9, USDA zone 8b~~"Leaf of Faith"
central Illinois
Charter ATP Member I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Hosted a Not-A-Raffle-Raffle Plant Database Moderator Garden Ideas: Level 2 Photo Contest Winner: 2014
Avid Green Pages Reviewer Celebrating Gardening: 2015 Plant Identifier
Image
jmorth
Oct 23, 2014 4:29 PM CST
Ann, wife over-cooked em, so missed out on that particular delicacy.
@flaflwrgrl
Nothing that's been done can ever be changed.
[Last edited by jmorth - Oct 23, 2014 4:31 PM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #721808 (18)
Name: Ann ~Heat zn 9, Sunset
North Fl. (Zone 8b)
Garden Sages Native Plants and Wildflowers Xeriscape Organic Gardener I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Garden Ideas: Master Level
Butterflies Charter ATP Member Plant Identifier Region: Florida Dog Lover Birds
Image
flaflwrgrl
Oct 23, 2014 7:24 PM CST
Awwwwwwwwww. I adore asparagus. The hubs calls it "that vile weed". That's okay, it means more for me. Hilarious!
I am a strong believer in the simple fact is that what matters in this life is how we treat others. I think that's what living is all about. Not what I've done in my life but how I've treated others.
~~ Sharon Brown ~~



« Garden.org Homepage
« Back to the top
« Forums List
« Wildflowers forum
You must first create a username and login before you can reply to this thread.

Today's site banner is by dirtdorphins and is called "Lilium 'Pink Perfection'"