In this week’s #PeepThatPlant, we’re featuring the American pokeweed (Phytolacca americana), whose berries serve as food sources for many animals. 🍃 Once ripe, pokeweed berries become a dark purple, and are a favorite treat of migratory birds that eat them in order to fuel their travel. Year-round bird residents such as mockingbirds, cardinals, and cedar waxwings also rely on the berries, which can help them survive through the winter. 🐦 This plant has many other interesting common names, such as the inkberry or red-ink plant, because the berries were used to create writing ink hundreds of years ago. American pokeweed looks especially beautiful right now, with its bright red stems, arching branches, and darkening berries. This plant can be seen all over Central Park, and will be especially important to our feathered friends in the coming months. 📝: Senior Zone Gardener Mimi Gunderson 📷: Manager of Natural Areas Alex Hodges
We remember and honor those who we lost on September 11 — with hope for a more peaceful world. #NeverForget
The touch-me-not (Impatiens capensis) gets its name from its exploding seedpods. When ripe, it propels its seeds at the slightest of touches. Also known as jewelweed, this flower is a vigorous annual that can grow into impressive stands. Here in Central Park, you can see the touch-me-not in Strawberry Fields, at the Ravine in the North Woods, and surrounding the Lake. You may spot the occasional seedpod, and sometimes the remnants of one that has already burst open. #PeepThatPlant 📝📷: Senior Zone Gardener Mimi Gunderson
Perched atop a grand outcrop at the Sixth Avenue entrance to Central Park is Cop Cot, the Park’s largest rustic structure. 🍃 It’s an example of how the Park’s designers, Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, used rustic architecture to highlight exposed bedrock.
An empty Bow Bridge is a serene (and rare!) sight. 📷: @jhaykin
If you’ve seen flashes of brilliant scarlet throughout Central Park recently, it could be from Northern cardinal birds or the cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis). 🍃 You can find this show-stopping plant in many areas of Central Park, including Cherry Hill, the Ramble, and Shakespeare Garden. Cardinal flowers are very popular with hummingbirds and swallowtail butterflies. 🦋 Have you seen this flower over the summer? #PeepThatPlant 📝📷: Senior Zone Gardener Mimi Gunderson
Play ball! 🥜🥨🌭 Have you ever watched (or played!) a softball game in Central Park?
In this week’s #PeepThatPlant, we’re featuring the New York ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis), which produces one of the deepest purples of any flower in Central Park. 🍃 A member of the aster family, its fluffy purple flowers are found in sunny, wet landscapes along eastern North America from late summer to early fall. Its common name could be in reference to its strong, thin stem, which holds its flowers aloft up to 8 feet without falling over, and the rusty color of the fading flowers. Its roots are equally tough, a fact that many gardeners in the area could attest to. 💪 Given these traits, it's easy to see the similarity between New York ironweed and the City’s rising skyscrapers. Look for this plant along many of the Park's water bodies. 📝📷: Assistant Manager of the Natural Areas Alex Hodges