Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Shallotte Wildflowers

The town of Shallotte, North Carolina is about ten minutes inland from the Brunswick County beaches.

According to the Nature Conservancy, Brunswick County is home to the greatest number of rare species in the state.

For the beach goers who only drive to Shallotte to shop at Wal-Mart during their vacation, this historical marker goes unnoticed as they turn onto Hwy 17 from Hwy 179.

But along the roadside, weeds are colorful and abundant in Shallotte in September.  This small yellow flower is seedbox, Ludwigia alternifolia. Seedbox is in the Onagraceae family, along with evening primrose.

Above, a field of white-topped sedge, Dichromena colorata. (Cyperaceae family) - close-up below.

Showy rattlebox, Crotolaria spectabilis, is aptly named. The beautiful yellow pea flowers call out for attention; seeds rattle around in the large seed pods.  (Pictured above and below.)

Beach pea, Strophostyles helvola, (Fabaceae).

Meadow beauty, Rhexia - either mariana or virginica.   (I'm not sure how to tell the difference.) It's in the Melastomaceae family.

Horse nettle, Solanum carolinense. The Solanaceae family includes tomatoes, eggplant and potatoes but horse nettle is poisonous. It is an obnoxious weed because of the spines, but is an interesting plant to look at.

Pine trees, grasses and sedges, and evergreen bog shrubs form typical Brunswick County scenes.  You might find Venus flytrap, if you are lucky.

Brunswick County nature preserves:
The Green Swamp Preserve
Boiling Springs Lakes Preserve

Visit Clay and Limestone for more Wildflower Wednesday posts.