Tag Archives: Falls Lake area

The Late Winter Elm – Hidden Beauty in Tiny Flowers

It is unlikely that Elm tree flowers would be mentioned  in a discussion about late winter/early spring wildflowers.  The flowers are tiny (about 1/4 inch long) and inconspicuous on most trees.  Elms are wind pollinated, so showy flowers are not needed to … Continue reading

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Water Oak – Quercus nigra : Surprising Leaf Patterns

Water Oaks (Quercus nigra) are numerous and widespread throughout bottomland habitats in the Piedmont and Coastal Plain of North Carolina.  They are also found in lower numbers in many upland areas as well.  Although they are generally considered a medium sized … Continue reading

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Tephrosia spicata – A Tough Plant for Tough Conditions

Tephrosia spicata, the Spiked Hoarypea, is a small, native perennial that is found in scattered communities throughout North Carolina.  In the Falls Lake area,  it is usually found in open areas along roadsides and power lines, in ditches, and in open fields.  It … Continue reading

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Monotropa uniflora (Indian Pipe) in Winter

Monotropa uniflora is a fascinating plant whose translucent, ghostly appearance has given rise to many colorful common names like Ghost Plant, Indian Pipe, Corpse Plant, and Ice Plant.  It contains no chlorophyll and does not need sunlight, but satisfies its … Continue reading

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Black Vultures Are Thriving in North Carolina

For years, the densely forested areas of the B. W. Wells State Recreation Area have been home to nesting Black Vultures and Turkey Vultures.  Until the past few years, the vultures often nested in remnant buildings on abandoned homesites.  But most … Continue reading

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A Variety of Autumn Colors at Falls Lake

As a shade loving, understory tree, Carpinus caroliniana, known as American Hornbeam or Ironwood, is rarely seen as a colorful autumn tree.  But given the right circumstances, particularly enough sun, the normal pale yellow leaves can be replaced by bright red.  The … Continue reading

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The Unusual Symmetry of Facelis retusa (Trampweed)

In some respects Facelis retusa, known as Trampweed, is a typical weed: a non-native, broadleaf winter annual that came to us from South America.  The term “weed” typically carries with it the connotation of a sprawling, undisciplined, rank and irregular plant.  But Facelis … Continue reading

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