Cardiocrinum cordatum in a Maryland woodland

Jim McKenney
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:42:48 PST
I've got something interesting for you here. I've just posted two very short, very low tech videos to my blog, videos which I made during one of the most exciting plant experiences I've ever had. That day was right up there with the day I first saw a pitcher plant bog or the day my Davidia bloomed for the first time (after a seventeen year wait). Tastes vary, of course, and these videos might might strike some of you as utterly yawn worthy.Here's what it's about: in the September 2014 Quarterly Bulletin of the North American Lily Society I published a short story about a really amazing experience I had this year. In 2008, a friend contacted me for help in identifying a plant. One of his coworkers who lived on a small farm found the plant in the woods on his farm. From what I was hearing, the ID seemed obvious but unlikely: Cardiocrinum cordatum. At this point in the story I was assuming that the plant was a garden plant. When I later learned that the plant - and lots of them -  grew in the woods on the farm, my interest soared.  I begged and pleaded for a chance to see the plant in situ. I continued to nudge my friend yearly, but not until this year did things work out. In August I went out to the farm and was driven in a very slow moving farm vehicle to the far end of the property. As we got close to the spot, I began to make out the flowers in the woodland: I could hardly believe my eyes. It was not a single garden escapee, it was a coarse  woodland of noxious, ruderal weeds (Japanese barberry, wine berry, multiflora rose and stilt grass) with hundreds of the Cardiocrinum scattered among them. In the videos you'll get an idea of just how well they have made themselves at home there.  In the middle of one of the videos a red-tailed hawk provides some sound excitement, so be sure the sound is turned on. You don't see the hawk in the video, but the hawk and a small heron were tangling in mid air right above our eyes. So far I have not had much experience adding videos to my blog - it took a lot of time working from an on-line tutorial to get this done. I hope you all are able to view it without a problem.  
Take a look http://…

Jim McKenneyMontgomery County, Maryland, USA, USDA zone 7 

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