I used my sherlockian power again! This time not to identify, locate and defeat a sunflower thief, but rather to identify a mystery flower. Last year we came upon this strange flower in the park and we were unable find out which genus or species it belong to and I was quite flustered by that.
Last year’s pictures
[ iPhone 8+, Parc Frédéric-Back, 2017-10-22 ]
This year’s pictures
[ iPhone 8+, Parc Frédéric-Back, 2018-09-29 ]
Last year, the plant we found was more developed and mature. This year, it is a little earlier in the fall, so it is at a younger stage of its development. However, it is clearly the same plant, with several stages of flower on top of each other, tubular flowers (undeveloped this year) and long lance-like reddish leaves.
Today, thanks to the Reader’s Digest A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants (I tried before with various other books like Daigle’s Les fleurs Sauvages du Québec or Parent’s Fleurs des champs du Québec et des Maritimes, without success), I was able to find enough clues to establish that the mystery plant that eluded identification for nearly a year was… the Monarda Punctata, also known as the spotted beebalm or horsemint.
It is from the family of the Lamiaceae (to which many herbs like mint belong) and it seems that at least one of its sub-species (Monarda punctata var. villicaulis / Monarde ponctuée à tige velue) is pretty rare in Quebec (see also this study, in French). There are several variety of Monarda in Quebec (like the Monarda fistulosa / wild bergamot or the Monarda didyma / Crimson beebalm) but, after comparing plenty of pictures, I am pretty sure that my mystery plant is one of the two varieties (var. punctata or var. villicaulis) of the Monarda punctata.
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Today was the time to relax. In the morning, I read a pile of couple of weeks-old newspapers (mostly The Gazette) while listening to smooth jazz on the internet. Then, in early afternoon, I went for a walk in the park with my lovely wife. It was a beautiful day of late September!
The deep blue sky was dotted by luminous clouds. There was still plenty of colours in the field and a great variety of flowers: a few Sweet William, many Asters and Sunflowers, Thistle and Chicory, those tall Dandelions like in spring, some Mint and plenty others that I couldn’t put a name on. It was full of life as grasshoppers and crickets were jumping all over in front of our steps, bees and bumblebees buzzing in the air, as well as blue and orange butterflies dancing around in the wind. We also saw a dead rat, a murder of crows and even a flight of Canadian geese flying high toward warmer skies in the south. A great day — even if we could smell in the air that rain would come later…
I took many pictures. Unfortunately no camera could render the richness of details that the human eye can capture. And the memory is fleeting. We have no choice but to rely of those imperfect pieces of frozen time to remind ourselves of this moment: the blue sky, the green grass and yellow flowers…
Beautiful day of late september
Some sort of wild mint?
Thistle with a pink punk hairdo
still plenty of flowers
Lots of those tall dandelion like in spring
Pink aster & a bee
Field of bubbles and grass
A murder of crows
Flight of geese
Rain is coming
[ iPhone 8+, Parc Frédéric-Back, 2018/09/29 ]
Saya & Caramel
Saya looks sad
Caramel in the light (close-up)
Caramel in the morning light
[ iPhone 8+, 2018/09/29 ]