Flora Fridays – September 1, 2023

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Happy Flora Friday, Montgomery County! Another week of hard work is done, pat yourself on the back and have a restful weekend. I hope that you have been enjoying the calm, cooler weather after our storms earlier this week. Montgomery County received between 2-4 inches of rain in the last seven days, bringing some needed precipitation the Candor  – Jackson Springs area. When a soaking rain rolls through, my mind goes to wildflowers and mushrooms. The moisture seems to give flora an extra glow. Many interesting looking and colorful mushroom species emerge from the forest floor in purples, whites, yellows, reds, whites and even blues. What plants and animals do you enjoy seeing on walks?

As a reminder, plants and unknown mushrooms should not be picked or consumed  – it’s better to snap a picture. If you need support identifying a specimen please email me photo(s) and or call our office at 910 576 6011, I’d be happy to assist!

– Owen Washam

These are golden spindles (Clavulinopsis fusiformis), a type of coral mushroom. Fruiting bodies can grow to be 6 inches or 15 cm.

This is the North Carolina state wild flower – the Carolina or Michaux’s lily (Lillium michauxii).
The state flower is the dogwood and not pictured (Cornus florida).

This white and yellow mushroom cap looks like it is upside down. In many cases, fruiting fungi can be identified by observing gill and spore characteristics.

This is a yellow fringed orchid, Platanthera ciliaris. The flower can be found in moist organic soil, unsprayed and unmown areas. I find this orchid most often at roadsides in the mountains.

This is polygala, Polygala curtissii. It is often overlooked because it is low growing. This small flower has linear leaves and can be found at wood sides, rocky areas and old fields.