Fire it up this week with Firewheel, Fire Pink, and Scarlet Bee Balm!

It’s prime time bonfire season out there! What’s your favorite part about a good bonfire? Is it the ‘mallows and the s’mores? Or the good times with friends and family? Feel free to share in the comments below!

This week in CVNP, find your own bonfire in the daytime by checking out some of our fiery red blooms! Bright red flowers aren’t very common in Northeast Ohio, so don’t be discouraged if you can’t find any. However, here are some blushed blooms you might spot in CVNP this time of year:

1) Firewheel (Gaillarda pulchella, also known as Indian Blanket)
This flower is a member of the sunflower family. Firewheel flowers are a red-orange color with a yellow outer ring. Each petal has yellow tips and usually has 3 teeth, giving it a sun or flame-like appearance. Firewheel is not native to Ohio. But don’t worry, it’s not an invasive plant either. We call it “naturalized” in Ohio, which means that it can survive here outside of its natural range without help from humans.


image credits: Randy Heisch and Joyful Butterfly: https://www.joyfulbutterfly.com/product/indian-blanket-seeds/

2) Fire Pink (Silene virginica)
Fire Pink, or Royal Catchfly, is a member of the carnation family. Its flower has a tubular base with five red petals, each with two teeth at the ends. This red bloom is native to Ohio and is pollinated by a crowd favorite, the ruby-throated hummingbird.


image credits: Stephanie Brundage and Betty Truax

3) Scarlet Bee Balm (Monarda didyma)
Scarlet Bee Balm is a member of the mint or deadnettle plant family. Its bloom looks like a bright red case of bed head, if you ask me! However, what look like individual flower petals are actually single tubular flowers. Many tubular flowers are clustered onto one flower head, creating this charming messy mop. Scarlet Bee Balm is rare in Ohio. If you find some in CVNP, you should protect the plant by obscuring its coordinates and adding it to the Ohio Watch List project on iNaturalist (link: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/ohio-watch-list ).


image credits: Alan Cressler and Stephanie Brundage

Stay safe out there this week, iNatters. Good luck finding your own bonfire in the day time in CVNP!

Posted by mklein1216 mklein1216, June 29, 2020 18:26

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