Author: Father Pitt

  • Everlasting Pea (Lathyrus latifolius)

    Lathyrus latifolius

    Also called “Perennial Sweet Pea,” this is a gorgeous and rampant vine that can take over a hillside, but it rewards us with these sweet-pea flowers over a long blooming season. These were photographed on June 8 in Beechview.

    For a fuller description, see the Lathyrus latifolius reference page.

    Everlasting Pea
    Perennial Sweet Pea
  • Orange Hawkweed (Hieracium aurantiacum)

    Hieracium aurantiacum

    Also known as Pilosella aurantiaca, this is one of our most spectacular weeds. If you draw a line right across the middle of Pennsylvania from east to west, you will mark the southern border of the range where Orange Hawkweed is common. There are, however, isolated stations in the city of Pittsburgh, one of which is St. Peter’s Cemetery in Arlington, where these pictures were taken on June 3.

    Pilosella aurantiaca
    Orange Hawkweed
  • Seven-Sisters Rose

    Rosa multiflora
    Photographed May 20.

    Of all the common names in circulation, “Seven-Sisters Rose” is the most polite. This is a weedy, thorny rambler that covers itself with heavenly white flowers once a year, scenting the landscape with rose perfume. The individual flowers may be a bit sloppy, but the overall effect is dazzling. Then, all too soon, the show is over, and the plant goes back to being a pest. Most of these were blooming next to a parking lot in Peters Township, but the picture directly below was taken in South Side Park.

    Rosa multiflora
    Photographed May 30.
    Rosa multiflora
    The same
    Another one
  • Lesser Forget-Me-Not (Myosotis laxa)

    Myosotis laxa
    Photographed May 16.

    As we have mentioned before, this species is in an oddly expansive mood lately. A decade or two ago it was uncommon, but now it is all over city sidewalks and yards. It is a perfect miniature of the common garden Forget-Me-Not—a beautiful flower close up, though likely to be missed on account of its diminutive size. These plants were blooming in Beechview in late May.


    For a fuller description, see the Myosotis laxa reference page.

    Smaller Forget-Me-Not
  • Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

    Glechoma hederacea
    Photographed May 20.

    A common weed that can be spectacularly beautiful in large masses. It infests lawns, but never grows very tall, blooms prettily, and smells like mint when you mow it.

    For a longer description, see the Glechoma hederacea reference page.

    Photographed May 29.
    Ground Ivy