National Geographic : 1925 Jul
THE NATIONAL, GEOGRAPHIC MAGAZINE MOCK-CUCUMBER Echinocystis lobata T. & G. Gourd Family [Plate XIV, right Growing along moors and in waste places over an area that reaches from New Brunswick to Manitoba and from Virginia to Texas, and flowering from July to September, the mock cucumber is mainly an introduced plant in the eastern part of its range. Among its aliases are wild cucumber, wild balsamapple, mock apple, and creeping Jenny. FLAME AZALEA Azalea lutea L. Heath Family [Plate XV, left With a range that reaches from New York to Georgia and a flowering season that begins in May and ends in June, the flame azalea some times masquerades under the misnomer yellow honeysuckle. It is a beautiful and showy species and has been brought under cultivation with much success. So well does it respond to pam pering that its finest, showiest flowers are pro duced by cultivation. It possesses little fra grance. RED PINESAP Hypopitys insignata Bicknell Indianpipe Family [Plate XV, right] The red pinesap has a wide range in the east ern United States and Canada, and flourishes especially in or near mountains, where it can find shelter and humus under fir, beech, and oak trees. Its flowering season is from June to October. By refusing to go out and dig in the soil for its own living, and by insisting on prey ing upon dead vegetation to get its nourishment, the pinesap has received the brand of the Cain of the vegetable world. No plants that depend wholly on other plants, whether alive or dead, for their food can wear the green livery of the respectable flower world. Chlorophyll refuses to form in their tissues, and so they have to go up and down the earth wearing the badge of their depravity. The pinesap blossoms have a fringe of hairs radiating from their styles, and these form a stockade against insect pilferers. HORSETAIL Equisetum arvense L. I lorsetail Family [Plate XVI, left] This representative species of the horsetail family flourishes in sandy soil, especially along roadsides and railways from Greenland to Alaska and southward to Virginia and Cali fornia. It also is found in Europe. In Vir ginia it climbs the mountain sides to an eleva tion of 2,500 feet. Numerous aliases testify to its wide distribution. These include cornfield horsetail, bottlebrush, snake-pipes, and cats-tail. The flowering season of this best-known sur vivor of a great antediluvian race is May. ROSEBAY RHODODENDRON Rhododendron maximum L. HIeath Family [Plate XVI, middle] The superb beauty of the rhododendron has won for it universal admiration and the dis- tinction of being the State flower of two com monwealths. The legislature of West Virginia and the State organization of women's clubs in \Vashington have elevated it above all other floral rivals in their communities. The chosen variety of \est Virginia is Rhododendron maximum, while that of Washington is ihodo dendron californicnii. also called the coast rho dodendron. The latter is the most splendid of western shrubs. Both of these species have delicate, waxen blossoms tinted like the "rosy fingered dawn," with upper petals flecked with golden and greenish spots. The rhododendron has no clever trick of showering its pollen upon insect visitors like the mountain-laurel, but it protects itself by exuding a sticky substance below the flower to shield the blossoms from ants and crawling in sects that do not transfer pollen. The bee and other insect friends of the rhododendron find its nectar very appetizing, but the honey they make from it is said to be poisonous. CAROLINA-JESSAMINE Gelsemium sempervirens (L.) Ait. f . Lo gania Family [Plate XVI, right When South Carolina selected a flower for the national bouquet, she chose the Carolina jessamine. As the sole American representative of the Gclsc.minin branch of the family, the Carolina-jessamine is admirably fitted for the role assigned, as to name, fragrance, and ap pearance. It flourishes in woods and thickets from eastern Virginia to Florida and west and southward to Texas, Mexico. and Guatemala. Its flowering season is from March to October, and among its incognitos are Carolina wild woodbine and evening trumpetflower. Its stem is slender, trailing or climbing, and sometimes reaches a length of 20 feet. PURPLE TRILLIUM Trillium erectum L. Lilly-of-the-valley Family [Plate XVII, left] The purple trillium, inhabiting rich, moist woodlands, flourishes from Nova Scotia to North Carolina and westward to Manitoba and Missouri. Its flowering season is from April to June. Unfortunately its character does not measure up to its attractive name, for it has chosen to cater to the flesh flies rather than to the butterflies and bees. Its flowers have come to look something like raw meat and their odor to approximate that of decaying flesh. Hence its vernacular name-ill-scented wakerobin. BLUETS Houstonia caerulea L. Madder [Plate XVII, middle] Family The bluet lends its beauty to a geographical area including eastern Canada and southern Georgia and Alabama, reaching as far west as Michigan. Moist meadows and the banks of streams form its favorite environment. Its flowering season includes late April to late July, and a few come out even in the dogdays of August.