Friday Nature Unknown
…and the answer to yesterday’s Puzzler, below.
But the flower you see here is one I don’t know to species. It looks like Monkshood (see the cowl?) but is a weak climbing vine. It was growing supported by various wet-meadow annuals like cinnamon fern and such in partial shade.
If I don’t figure it out, I’ll ask an expert at the “bioblitz” in Rock Castle Gorge next weekend. Somebody will know it and I’ll have added another one to my life-list.
YESTERDAY’S PUZZLER: We’ve had an alarmingly dry late summer and so this sight is not so common if we get regular rains. But the white spores of this mushroom wafted out from the gills and have been undisturbed by rains for a couple of weeks.
So “natural spore-print” explains the white powder, as a couple of you knew. Not anthrax. Not cocaine. Not powdery mildew. And now you know!
UPDATE: ID now thought to be Aconitum uncinatum, blue Wolf’s Bane, and with the following lore from Wikipedia:
“Aconitum (/ËŒÃ¦kÉ™ËˆnaÉªtÉ™m/), also known as aconite, monkshood, wolf’s bane, leopard’s bane, mousebane, women’s bane, devil’s helmet, Queen of all Poisons, or blue rocket, is a genus of over 250 species of flowering plants belonging to the family Ranunculaceae.
These herbaceous perennial plants are chiefly native to the mountainous parts of the northern hemisphere, growing in the moisture-retentive but well-draining soils of mountain meadows. Most species are extremely poisonous and must be dealt with carefully.
The name comes from the Greek á¼€ÎºÏŒÎ½Î¹Ï„Î¿Î½, which may derive from the Greek akon for dart or javelin, the tips of which were poisoned with the substance, or from akonae, because of the rocky ground on which the plant was thought to grow. The name may reflect that toxins extracted from the plant were historically used to kill wolves, hence the name wolf’s bane.”
And apparently the plant appears in Harry Potter’s tales.