Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Cyrilla raceminflora and Asclepias incarnata in the infiltration basin and the bioretention basin respectively

I was in a meeting this past week where part of the subject matter was the storm water management construction in the Ellipse. I realized that I hadn't been there for a long time so I went after work today. There wasn't a lot flowering, but there was a lot of interesting plant material. Sedges, Rushes, Cattails, as well as the Cyrilla, the Swamp Milkweed, and a lot of Verbena hastata.

There are two roughly kidney shaped basins between the Herb Garden/Bonsai and the Capitol Columns. We planted both, but the top one is far the most interesting. If you're feeling daring and you're willing to go cross country, start out on the flowering tree walk from its intersection with the road across from the Bonsai. Look to your left and you will see the top basin. Break away from the path as it turns left and head out into the meadow. The most dangerous thing you'll encounter is blackberries and while they may scratch you, the fruit is ripe so there's some reward. Eventually you reach the basin which is well planted with Native wetland plants. The Swamp Milkweed and the Vervain attract butterflies though it seems to be a late season for them. The Sedges and Rushes are interesting for their unusual flowers and fruit. And there's alway the dragonflies. It's a less visited feature of the National Arboretum!

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