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bumblebee on grey-headed coneflower

Photo essay: A guided tour of wildflowers in Three Bridges Park

August 9, 2019  |  Topics: Places


Introduction by Jeff Veglahn

Photos by Eddee Daniel

On August 2 I led a Botany Walk in Three Bridges Park, as I do on the first Friday of each month. The purpose is to show the community what plants are in bloom and teach how to identify them. We gathered at 9:00 am at the Center (3700 W. Pierce Street), gave introductions, then headed out for an hour-and-a-half walk along the Hank Aaron State Trail in Three Bridges Park.

Whenever we see a new plant, we’ll stop to identify it and discuss. We focus on native, or indigenous species, but I also point out non-native plants that create issues for restoration or pose some threat to people. Early August is an ideal time for this and it was a particularly rewarding walk with 30 species identified.

Photo Essay

Sweet black eyed susan blossom close up
Sweet black eyed susan (Rudbeckia subtomentosa)
Four stalks of Hoary Vervain in bloom
Hoary Vervain (Verbena stricta)
Brown eyed susan blossom
Brown eyed susan (Rudbeckia hirta)
Ironweed in bloom
Ironweed (Vernonia fasciculate)
A patch of gray-headed coneflowers in front of Valley Passage mural
Gray headed coneflower (Ratibida pinnata)
Culvers root in bloom
Culvers root (Veronicastrum virginicum)
Dotted horsemint/ Spotted beebalm in bloom
Dotted horsemint/ Spotted beebalm (Monarda punctata)
Jeff Veglahn pointing out Giant Purple Hyssop in front of 35th St viaduct
Jeff Veglahn pointing out Giant Purple Hyssop (Agastache scrophulariifolia)
A hand holding a sprig of Mountain mint in bloom
Mountain mint (Pycnanthemum muticum)
False Sunflower blossom
False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)
A patch of False Sunflower in front of chain link fence
A patch of False Sunflower (Heliopsis helianthoides)
Gaura blossoms beneath the 35th Street Viaduct
Gaura (Gaura biennis)
Three upright blossoms of Prairie blazing star
Prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya)
Two Rose Mallow/Flower-of-an-Hour blossoms
*Rose Mallow/Flower-of-an-Hour (Hibiscus trionum
Compass plant in bloom with Palermo's Pizza factory in background
Compass plant (Silphium laciniatum)
Evening primrose in bloom
Evening primrose (Oenothera biennis)

List of additional identified species

Canada Wild Rye (Elymus canadensis)

Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii)

Canada Tick Trefoil (Desmodium Canadensis)

Partridge Pea (Chamaecrista fasciculata)

Swithchgrss (Panicum virgatum)

Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa)

Rosinweed (Silphium integrifolium)

Common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca)

Cup plant (Silphium perfoliatum)

*Curly dock (Rumex crispus)

*Common St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

*Moth mullein (Verbascum blattaria)

*Common Mullein (Verbascum Thapsus)

Hairy petunia (Ruellia humilis)

*Spotted Knapweed (Centaurea maculosa)

* Indicates non-native species

Jeff Veglahn is the Land Steward at the Menomonee Valley branch of the Urban Ecology Center.

Eddee Daniel is a board member of Preserve Our Parks and project director of A Wealth of Nature.