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Tuesday, July 25, 2017




Tuesday, 8:00 AM.  62 degrees F at the ferry dock, 60  on the back porch.  Wind variable and calm, skies partly cloudy, the humidity 92%.  The barometer is falling, now at 30.08".  The high today will be in the seventies, and so on the rest of the week.  Skies will be mixed, with a chance of a thunderstorm next Sunday.  Looks like nice summer weather.ahead. 
    Meadowsweet, Spiraea alba, in the rose family, the Rosaceae, is blooming along the back of the foredune at the beach.  It is quite attractive and is sweet scented.  It is not uncommon if one is a frequenter of swamps and other wet places.  It is growing along with beach grass, blueberries, wild roses and poison ivy in the damp sand.
   The spiraeas are important ornamental plants and there are a number of introduced European and Asian species so used, and they have been much hybridized. There are a number of other North American species as well. All contain methyl salicylates, the primary ingredient of aspirin.  Therefore it is not surprising that many Spiraea species have herbal and folk medicine uses, and there are references to American Indian use of the plant as a medicinal tea as well.  In Quebec meadowsweet is called The' Du Canada (Canadian tee).
  Rosa blanda is known by several common names, among them early wild rose, meadow rose, and prairie rose.  
   It is native to southeastern Canada, the Great Lakes states, and south and west into the prairie states.  Its flowers are mostly single, with five petals that are light to dark pink.  The flowers have little scent.  The leaves are pinnately compound, the leaflets toothed.  The plant is virtually thornless. which is a good identification characteristic. They can grow to 5' in height.
   Rosa blanda grows in full sun to part shade, and prefers sandy soil and a moist location. The red rose hips add winter interest.  Although it is not as floriferous as cultivated roses it is quite pretty, and is a good plant for native landscapes.
  Both meadowsweet and meadow rose are blooming now at the beach (right on time according to my records), basically located on the far side of the foredune, although the almost constant east winds have so eroded the beach that the foredune is almost gone in places.

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