Thursday, August 4, 2011
Piperia transversa at Washington Park
On a previous outing to Washington Park in the spring we had seen the glossy leaves of a Piperia growing along the trails. It was tentatively identified at that time as Piperia candida (Slender White Piperia). I made a mental note of the locations and determined that I would go back later in the summer to see the plants in flower.
I finally made the trip on July 18th and found the plants but discovered that they were not Piperia candida, but Piperia transversa, the Flat-spurred Piperia, a species I had not seen before. The leaves were gone now, as is common with the Piperias, but there were many more plants than I remembered, all in flower.
It was quite a windy day, but I was able to get some decent photos both of the plants and of their habitat. They were growing in rather bright, dry, but mossy areas with a light tree cover and their white and green flowers made then very visible, though their spikes were less than a foot tall, and the flowers quite tiny.