Thermopsis, seed pods

Thermopsis villosa, aka Blue Ridge Buckbean, Carolina lupine, Aaron’s rod, Bush pea, and other names, all for virtually the same charismatic plant.

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June 1, 2018.

Previous posts:

Mega thermopsis update

It’s that time of year. The thermopsis (Thermopsis villosa, aka Blue Ridge Buckbean, Carolina lupine, Aaron’s Rod) are nearing the end of their bloom, and (hopefully) the pods will follow.

This is a thermopsis summer! This has been their most prolific year. I mulched a few with compost, hoping it will encourage them to set many seeds.

Previously, I posted a photo of the thermopsis just as the raceme is emerging from the apical meristem.

In the beginning…

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May 17.
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May 17. The blooms are peeping out of the lowest buds, nearly ready to see the light of day. (I’m not sure why this photo and others are so washed out)
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May 20.
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May 21. What a difference a day makes. A heath or some other aster (Symphyotrichum spp.) has snuck into this photo (right).
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May 21.
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May 21. Three-year chestnut hybrid (Castanea dentata x) in the foreground, flowering sorrel (Rumex acetosa) in the back left.

The following photos were taken about five days later.

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May 27. It may be evident that the lower blooms are fading away, while the top-most buds have not yet bloomed.

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Legumes in flower

You will notice that the Astragalus canadensis (Canadian milkvetch) is conspicuously absent from this post on native legumes. Fear not, I am gearing up for a post all of their own, hopefully soon. Some did not make the winter, but most braved the brutal cold and lived to tell the tale. But that’s a story for another day.

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Thermopsis villosa. Blue Ridge buckbean, Carolina lupine, Aaron’s rod. Looking closely, the bud can be seen emerging from the tip of the stalk. This two-year old plant had at last ten budding stalks. Note the three-fingered leaf-hand to the left (and the smaller one to the right, alternate), extended as though to welcome the flower bud into the light of day.  May 8, 2018
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Amorpha fruticosa. False indigo bush. The leaves of this legume are less clover-like (or trifoliate), and more like the black locust (odd-pinnately compound). May 8, 2018
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Amorpha fruticosa. Flowers from the growing tip of the woody stalk. May 8, 2018.
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Just a few days later, Amorpha fruticosa in flower. Appreciated by some species of bumble bee. the pollen-bearing stamens, yellow, emerge from deep violet flowers, giving each inflorescence an iridescent sheen. May 11, 2018.