Friday, January 2, 2009

100 Species Challenge -- Species #34

Specimen #34 -- Hedge Bindweed
Convolvulus sepium

Photo by me, August 2008
Wisconsin Lake Region

Found while searching for a geocache, GCM3XQ. (DNF by the way. Darn rocks. But I saw a mink, so big thumbs up on the experience.)

This may be the first Hedge Bindweed I have ever seen. It is much larger than the Field Bindweed I am familiar with (1.5 vs. 0.5 inches across). I looked here to assist in the ID since my field guide didn't help me differentiate between Morning Glories and Bindweeds. (Same family.) A big difference seems to be the leaves (heart vs. spear shape).

Convolvulus sounds like 'convoluted,' meaning 'twisted,' which is exactly the nature of this plant. I am not sure I ever got a good shot of the leaves because the stem twists and vines up the stems of the other plants, which hides the leaves.

Geocaching really lends itself to nature study. I believe that all of my kids have retained their sense of wonder and awe and attention to small detail (Montessori typically attributes this characteristic to ages 2 - 4.5 years) because of nature study. For example, this flower has a strong pentagonal shape (five fused petals). My younger two children noticed this fall that almost all of the flowers we find in the wild have five petals. I think my youngest noticed this first. She also noticed that her favorite oranges have ten segments (2 x 5). What an observation! My husband asks what benefit five petals gives a plant. I ask, how did the kids make the connection about five petals when we don't do nature sketches and notebooks? It must be the sheer amount of time they spend outside. I have decided to keep a tally of flowers with petals numbering five and non-five.

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