6.24 – Burnham Nature Sanctuary (Chicago Park District)

This is my favorite site so far – absolutely gorgeous, lots of beautiful flowering plants, even though this site is right in Hyde Park!

Burnham Nature Sanctuary

The white flowers are Penstemon digitalis (Foxglove Beardtongue), a hardy native which I’ve written about previously. The purple blooms are the beautiful Tradescantia bracteata (Spiderwort). We found young Tradescantia too, which look like a hairy, fleshy grass. The yellow flowers are Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan), which have distinctly hairy leaves.


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Blooming Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)

I know this plant as bee balm from back home on the east coast. We hadn’t seen any blooming until we reached this site, but it sure is pretty! As you can see from the two pollinators in the picture, it lives up to its common name! It’s in the mint family, and like all mints has a square stem and opposite leaves. It is a native to the US, although sadly during this project I have realized that most of the wildflowers I grew up with, such as Daucus carota (Queen Anne’s Lace) are actually invasives 🙁
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Rudbeckia hirta (Black-eyed Susan)

These two Rudbeckias are at two different stages in their life cycles: the left one still has anthers, and in the right one they have already withered away after use. The anthers are pollen-bearing segments that stick up, visible on the disk (central, dark brown) flowers here. You can see the anthers as dots on the disk in this picture from above, although they do stick upwards from the flower.
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And to finish off this entry…

A mutant Rudbeckia hirta!

Pretty funny-looking, huh? Surprisingly common at this site!

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