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6/6/2024: An Ecological Rainbow

pride flag 2024

An Ecological Rainbow: 2024

An Annual Pride Tradition

Continuing with a yearly tradition, throughout the month of June, 2024, the Preserve will be sharing a colorful array of social media posts featuring native plants and wildlife in honor of each stripe on the Progress Pride Flag. This flag, designed by Daniel Quasar, adds five additional colors to the traditional rainbow banner to signify marginalized LGBTQA+ communities of color and the transgender community. Look forward to the following highlights this month on our Facebook and Instagram:

  • White: pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)
  • Pink: grass-pink (Calopogon tuberosus)
  • Light blue: Eastern Tailed Blue butterfly (Cupido comyntas)
  • Brown: Christmas fern (spores) (Polystichum acrostichoides)
  • Black: American bumblebee (Bombus pensylvanicus)
  • Red: fire-pink (Silene viriginica)
  • Orange: red fox (Vulpes vulpes)
  • Yellow: American goldfinch (Spinus tristis)
  • Green: striped maple (Acer pensylvanicum)
  • Blue: narrowleaf vervain (Verbena simplex)
  • Purple: purple pitcher plant (Sarracenia purpurea)

These plants and animals live in different habitats and fill different ecological niches. However, they are all key elements in our diverse landscape. As the highlights are posted, we will be compiling them below.

Happy Pride! 🏳️‍🌈

White: pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

White: pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea)

Starting things off with white, we'd like to introduce you to pearly everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). This wildflower has a natural bunched appearance because of the flower heads balanced on woody stems. The actual bloom is yellow, surrounded by paper-like white bracts that resemble, but are not, petals. Pearly everlasting is a food plant for painted lady butterflies (Vanessa cardui) and is very popular in dried floral arrangements.

Pink: tuberous grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus)

Pink: tuberous grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus)

Presenting our second color is the magnificent tuberous grass pink (Calopogon tuberosus). This member of the orchid family owes its namesake to grasslike leaves, and the identifiable hairs on the lowerlip of its upper petal lend more meaning to “Calopogon”---Greek for “beautiful beard”. It requires pollinators of a certain weight to drop the labellum, such as bees, which flings the insect onto the flower’s column. You can find grass pink blooming in moist areas from late spring to early summer.

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