Flowers of the water’s edge

At this time of year, the trees are in leaf, casting deep shade, so the woodland wildflowers are mostly over. But the ones on the edges of our shrubby, swampy ponds get water and sunlight, and are flowering now. I thought I’d show you some of them, starting with the smallest blooms. No dramatic stories, just modest beauties in hidden places. Let us take our pleasures where we can.

Horned bladderwort , Utricularia cornuta , 1/4″ grows either in the shallow water, or on the muddy foreshore.

The “horn” is at the base of the flower, easier to see in the next photo.

High Bush Blueberry, Vaccinium corymbosum, 1/4-1/2″, is a tall bush that grows at the shoreline, producing its famous berries in late summer:

Sheep Laurel or Bog Laurel, Kalmia angustifolia, 1/3-1/2″, a relative of the better known Mountain Laurel, forms sizable clumps on the waterline:

Close to, the flowers form a tiny posy:

Rose Pogonia, Pogionia ophioglossoides, 1 3/4″, likes somewhat different boggy habitat. It is an orchid, and these were amongst reeds and grasses, hard to photograph from my kayak:

My last flower is the dramatic bizarre flower of the carnivorous Northern Pitcher Plant, Sarracenea purpurea, a sizable 2″ across. It also is found in swampy sphagnum bogs.

When it has been pollinated, the enormous ovary in the center swells up into a bumpy scaly peach-like globe:

Doesn’t it remind you of Little Shop of Horrors?

PS: A couple of these plants were mentioned in 2019 in a post on carnivorous plants, if you want to see the gory details of how they eat:

PPS: I rather like this page:

2 thoughts on “Flowers of the water’s edge”

  1. Gorgeous. Fabulous photos.
    Looking forward to savouring Maine’s environment at the end of this month.


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