Name these flowers

Flower on the Kunjamuk River. Photo by Phil Brown.
Flower on the Kunjamuk River. Photo by Phil Brown.

I paddled the Jessup and Kunjamuk rivers near Speculator this weekend and saw lots of wildflowers on the banks and in the water, including cardinal flowers, pickerelweed, buttonbush, and pond lilies.

I need some help identifying the flowers shown here.

Photo by Phil Brown.
Photo by Phil Brown.

The purplish flower was photographed on the Kunjamuk in a marsh above Elm Lake. I saw it frequently on both rivers. I think I know what it is, but I want to be sure (and don’t want to prejudice anyone with my speculation).

The white flowers to the right also were a frequent sight along the river’s edge, often mingled with alders. The plants often have red stems. There are two opposing leaves just below the flowers and more leaves along the stem.

If you are familiar with these flowers, please let us know.

About Phil Brown

Phil Brown edited the Adirondack Explorer from 1999 until his retirement in 2018. He continues to explore the park and to write for the publication and website.

Reader Interactions


  1. Kathy P. says

    Joe-Pye weed for the first one, guessing that the second is red-osier dogwood, given the flowers and the description of the red stems.

  2. Phil says

    I also thought that the top flower was joe-pye weed, but I wanted to be sure. Kathy, I think you are right about red osier. I found a photo of it, and it looks just like the flowers I saw.

  3. Solidago says

    The purple flower is definitely Joe-Pye Weed, but something in the same ball park (pinkish-purple flowers, same general form, same habitat) is Swamp Milkweed – it is a really gorgeous wetland plant that you’ll often see Monarch Butterfly adults and/or caterpillars hanging around.

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