Hi everyone! Sorry this is getting posted late, but here are the species from the past two weeks!
Scientific name: Penstemon digitalis
Anishinabemowin name: unknown
The first plant this week is this wonderful little flower! Foxglove beardtongue has purple stems, dark green leaves, and can be found throughout eastern Canada and the eastern US!
Fun Fact: The name “beardtongue” comes from the fact that the flowers produce stamens that appear to have small tufts of hair!
Scientific name: Lonicera dioica
Anishinabemowin name: ozaawaaskined
This climbing flower prefers to grow in edges, clearings, and banks of thick woods.
Fun fact: This native plant is quite ubiquitous: it’s found in almost every county in Michigan!
Scientific name: Quercus macrocarpa
Anishinabemowin name: mitigomizh
This common ornamental tree is an important part of eastern prairies. It is fire-resistant, drought-resistant, and may live for up to 400 years!
Fun Fact: The name “macrocarpa” refers to the bur oak’s macro-sized acorns!
Scientific name: Butorides virescens
Anishinabemowin name: gichi-mooshka`osi
This small heron is quite the family-oriented bird! Both parents help with incubating the pale-green eggs and feeding their young.
Fun fact: As Wikipedia states, “Butorides is from Middle English butor ‘bittern’ and Ancient Greek -oides, ‘resembling’, and virescens is Latin for ‘greenish’”.
Scientific name: Strix varia
Anishinabemowin name: gookooko’oo
Here to welcome you to July is the barred owl! This nocturnal bird eats small mammals and is known to have an interesting courtship dance. “Who cooks for you?” is the classic phrase to help remember the call of the barred owl!
Fun Fact: Although seen as symbols of wisdom in Western culture, the Anishinabe often see owls as signs of death.
Scientific name: Asclepias syriaca
Anishinabemowin name: ininiwizh
Many species of insect feed on the fragrant, nectariferous flowers these plants produce. These are a popular plant in butterfly gardens, which have increased in number over the years as a way to combat declining monarch butterfly populations.
Fun fact: Milkweed oil from the seeds can be converted into cinnamic acid and function as a very potent sunscreen when used at a 1-5% concentration.
Scientific name: Apocynum cannabinum
Anishinabemowin name: zesabiins
This perennial herbaceous plant is poisonous, as it can cause cardiac arrest if ingested. Stay away from this one, folks!
Fun fact: Although Indian Hemp can be toxic, tea from the roots has been used in some traditional medicine to treat several conditions, including headache, earache, nausea, insanity, edema, jaundice, anxiety, diarrhea, constipation, and urinary difficulties.
Scientific name: Fallopia japonica
Anishinabe name: unknown
This plant is invasive to several countries, and is actually listed by the World Conservation Union as one of the world’s worst invasive species!
Fun fact: Despite its invasive nature, Japanese Knotwood is valued by some beekepers as a significant source of nectar for honeybees when little else is flowering.
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake
Scientific name: Sistrurus catenatus
Anishinabemowin name: zhiishiigwe
Hissssss! This little guy is rather shy and avoids humans whenever possible, but possesses a cytotoxic venom that destroys tissues ~ it’s not afraid to use it if it feels it is threatened!
Fun fact: The word “massasauga” comes from the Anishinabe language, and means “great river mouth.” This is because it tends to live in swamps, which are frequently located at the mouths of rivers.
Northern Water Snake
Scientific name: Nerodia sipedon
Anishinabemowin name: omazaandamoo
This large, nonvenomous snake hunts along the water’s edge for small fish, frogs, worms, leeches, crayfish, salamanders, small birds and mammals.
Fun fact: If one of these slippery fellows feels threatened, it usually swims to the bottom of the water and stays there until the predator gives up.