Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Posts Tagged ‘gall

Greenity*

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Gall on Common Milkweed Leaf 7886

At the risk of greening you out with a third post in a row that’s heavy on that color, here’s another view of common milkweed, Asclepias syriaca, this time from Illinois Beach State Park on June 14. I no longer remember what cast the pleasantly undulating shadow on the left side of the leaf, but one lobe of that shadow worked to highlight the lone gall there.

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman


* We don’t normally stick a Latin-derived suffix on a native English word the way I’ve done with greenity, but some hybrids (for example outage) have entered our standard vocabulary. In searching the Internet now I see that I’m not the first person to come up with greenity.

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

August 9, 2016 at 5:12 AM

Strangeness

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This is likely Rosa carolina but the fruit are distorted because of the Spiny rose gall wasp (Diplolepis bicolor).

At Illinois Beach State Park on June 9th I came across the unusual red things shown in today’s photograph. After I submitted the picture to the Illinois Native Plant Society, Rachel, who is the organization’s secretary, e-mailed me back to say that the plant is likely Rosa carolina and that the spiky red things are galls created by the spiny rose gall wasp, Diplolepis bicolor. Pretty strange, huh?

© 2016 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 27, 2016 at 4:33 AM

A gooey gall

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Oak Gall with Drops of Goo on It 7435

It’s common to see galls on oak trees, but many of the ones on this live oak (Quercus fusiformis) had sticky drops on their surface that I’d never seen before and still don’t know how to account for. Joe Marcus of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center provided a couple of good hypotheses: “Apparently it’s an open question.  Does the host tree produce the sticky substance on the gall to capture the exiting adult wasp or perhaps to attract gall wasp parasites, or does the larval wasp cause the gall to produce the exudates to attract others of its species for reproduction?  I don’t think the question has been answered.”

Note the hole in the upper left part of the gall through which a wasp would have exited.

Today’s photograph is from an October 18th field trip to the Shield Ranch southwest of Austin.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 7, 2015 at 5:21 AM

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