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Wild Plants in Winter

As I tried to decide whether or not to buy this land, I looked for botanical signs of the quality of the environment.

From the listing photos (taken in mid-summer), I could tell that there were ferns, cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis), starflower (Lysimachia borealis), pink lady's-slipper orchids (Cypripedium acaule), common boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), and trillium (Trillium sp.). As well as hemlock, birch, and beech trees.

That's actually a lot to go on for a botanist. It told me that the area was fairly undisturbed as New England forests go, with minimal penetration by invasive plants or pollution.

But of course I wanted to know more! Here are some non-woody organisms (herbaceous plants and lichen) I was able to identify to at least the genus level while the land was still mostly under ice and snow. These photos taken in March and early April:

Wildflowers:
Platanthera orchid (Platanthera sp.) - my treasure of a find!
Ghost pipes (Monotropa uniflora) - a parasitic wildflower!
Trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) - one of the earliest bloomers and smells amazing
Eastern teaberry (Gaultheria procumbens) in purple-red and partridgeberry (Mitchella repens) in green
Threeleaf goldthread (Coptis trifolia)
Dewberry (Rubus dalibarda)
A woodsorrel (Oxalis sp.)
Heartleaf foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia)
Canadian bunchberry (Cornus canadensis)
Ferns:
Intermediate Wood Fern (Dryopteris intermedia)
A polypody fern (Polypodium sp.)
Fungi including Lichen:
Pixie cup lichen (Cladonia sp.)
A beard lichen (Usnea sp.)

Moss and Clubmoss:
Prickly tree-clubmoss (Dendrolycopodium dendroideum)

Interrupted clubmoss (Spinulum annotinum)
Splendid feather moss (Hylocomium splendens)
And all of them native to New Hampshire. What a wondrous world!

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