July 7, 2020

Peat Pod

  | Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

| Photo courtesy of Glen Mittelhauser/Maine Natural History Observatory

Chances are good you will find Scheuchzeria palustris if you are in a peat bog. Pod-grass is native to North America and found in most every county in Maine. This herbaceous perennial grows more than a foot tall and has a creeping rhizome. The flowers, which are greenish-yellow, blossom through the summer. The resulting pods, pictured here in Baxter State Park in September, are the source of its common name. While it has a wide distribution, the plant is endangered or threatened in a number of states, including Vermont, Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  As for that tongue-twisting botanical moniker, the genus was name after two brothers, Johann Jakob and Johann Kaspar Scheuchzer, with Jakob being a Swiss naturalist. As for the species name, palustris comes from the Latin for a swamp.

Wild Wednesday is a collaboration of Garden Maine and Glen Mittelhauser of the nonprofit Maine Natural History Observatory, www.mainenaturalhistory.org.

Earlier in 2012, Glen began working to catalog the plants of Baxter State Park, which you can read about here and find out how to sponsor a plant of your own. Courtesy of a poll taken earlier this year, Garden Maine is sponsoring this lovely plant.