# Wildflowers

Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Allium canadense (Wild onion or Wild garlic)

Lora Conrad lives on a small farm in Van Buren County.

Allium canadense is known by many common names: wild garlic, meadow garlic, wild onion, Canadian onion.

Whatever name you use, this wild Allium is the one you are most likely to find in Iowa. It is not a ramp and not a nodding onion. Several other wild Alliums are native to Iowa (including Allium stellatum, which is also called wild onion), but those are not very common.

This map from the Biota of North America Program (BONAP) shows the native range of Allium canadense in Iowa.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: The ant and the trillium

Diane Porter of Fairfield first published this post on Birdwatching Dot Com.

Last week I found a big black ant rushing across my kitchen counter. Tightly clenched in its jaws was a Prairie Trillium seed, which was attached to a cream-colored swoop. The ant kept darting under the edges of objects. I tried to get it into view so I could get a picture. But the ant was too quick and agile for me.

I prodded at the seed with a toothpick, but the ant would not let go. We battled this way for a minute. I tried not to harm the ant, but clearly I was causing it aggravation. Ultimately it dropped the seed and disappeared into a crack at the edge of the sink. At least now I could study the seed.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Fringed puccoon

Bruce Morrison is a working artist and photographer living with his wife Georgeann in rural southeast O’Brien County, Iowa. Bruce works from his studio/gallery – a renovated late 1920s brooding house/sheep barn. You can follow Morrison on his artist blog, Prairie Hill Farm Studio, or visit his website at Morrison’s studio.

My first experience/introduction to Fringed Puccoon (Lithospermum incisum) was somewhat embarrassing—to me, anyway. We had just moved to our present acreage in southeast O’Brien County and I was taking inventory, trying to figure out what was there and what “could” be there.

My only acquaintance from the Borage family (Boraginaceae) was Hoary Puccoon (Lithospermum canescens). I found none here. Since I’d seen it in many locations within 15 to 20 minutes of our new home, I was disappointed.

However a prairie friend of some years had recently suggested the ground I described (gravel hillside mostly) would work for fringed puccoon. She offered to send me a handful of seed from her prairie near the Loess Hills. I gladly accepted and found a spot on top our north pasture’s east facing slope, that was mostly brome. I marked it and figured next year we’d see what comes of it.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: Flowers of Augusts past

The ankle I severely fractured in January continues to interfere with my wildflower outings. Although I’m able to walk a couple of miles now, I have limited range of motion, which makes it hard to cover much distance on uneven ground like unpaved trails or prairies. My ankle flexion is still too limited for me to feel comfortable doing the long bike rides that used to provide lots of material for this series.

This week, I struck out looking for the plants I had hoped to feature. So I dove into my files and pulled out a selection of wildflowers I’ve found in August over the past six years.

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Iowa wildflower Wednesday: A visit to the Hansen Wildlife Area

Katie Byerly shares photos of more than a dozen plants flowering in Cerro Gordo County’s Hansen Wildlife Area. Katie is also known as Iowa Prairie Girl on YouTube.

Thanks to Dave and Patty Hansen, Cerro Gordo County has a new beautiful community prairie! This spring the Hansen Wildlife Area was opened to the public, and as part of the celebration the North Iowa Nature Club toured the prairie with Dave and Patty has our guides.

The Hansen Wildlife Area is located on B20 north of Clear Lake, Iowa between Cardinal and Dogwood. It is already well marked with the usual brown sign and right away to a small parking area.

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