Found in the Fells – July

As June turns into July a group of closely related forest floor plants, that have been slowly developing their buds since early spring, finally flower. First Pipsissewa and Round-leaved Pyrola, sometimes flowering side-by-side, will bloom in late June early July. They are both in the plant family called Pyrolaceae. The flowers of Pipsissewa – Chimaphila umbellata  are quite unusual and worth a close look with a large green stubby style and psychedelic pink ring at the base, surrounded by the stamens looking like the chairs of a miniature carousel.


     Pyrola americana               Ch. umbellata

    Round-leaved Pyrola  Pyrola americana      close up of Pipsissewa    Chimaphila umbellata   6-29-04


And then ten days or so later, usually towards the third week of July in the Fells, blooms the close cousin of Pipsissewa, Spotted Wintergreen – Chimaphila maculata whose beautiful leaves I for one have been admiring all year long. Some guide books will tell you that these two plants bloom the other way around. Not in the Fells anyway. The flowers of Spotted Wintergreen are almost identical to Pipsissewa but there is no pink ring at the base of the style. Rather the red pigment is used up in giving the flower stems a deep red color.


                          Ch maculata

                              Spotted Wintergreen      Chimaphila maculata                      7-18-03

Also in the second half of the month the delightful evergreen Teaberry finally blooms.

Teaberry      Blueberries

Teaberry                Gaultheria  procumbens                                                    Low-bush blueberries    7-02-07

BUT, talking of berries, July is blueberry time and 2007 is a good year for them. My wife, Anne, and I picked three and half pounds near Wright's Pond on July 2nd in just over an hour.  Early in July - Low-bush blueberries (Vaccinium angustifolium) and middle to third week - Pale blueberries will be ripe (V. pallidum) with long clusters on somewaht higher bushes. There's enough for everyone's need but not for everyone's greed :-)

In damp situations Tall Meadow Rue is prevalent, and on the shores of ponds look for the distinctive Buttonbush, and a spash of pink might be the Swamp Rose. Then towards the end of the month, the heavy-scented Sweet Pepperbush blooms.

   Buttonbush    Sweet Pepperbush

 Buttonbush       Cephalanthus occidentalis                                                              Sweet Pepperbush     Clethra alnifolia 

Pepperbush  Sweet  Pepperbush