Thursday, April 25, 2013

A few flowers of spring

I seldom ignore the wildflowers. They, in all of their colorful, ephemeral glory, usher in spring like no others. Following is a brief sampling of shots taken on recent expeditions. In the interest of time, or lack thereof, I shall just offer brief captions, and you may make what you will of them.
An elfin hummock of Bluets, Houstonia caerulea, brightens a rough embankment.

A Sessile Trillium, Trillium sessile, ekes out space on a rich hillside carpeted with other wildflowers. This plant is sometimes known as "Toadshade".

The pale lavender blooms of Long-spurred Violets, Viola rostrata, are adorned with baseball bat-like extensions. Look for them along streams and lush wooded terraces.

A tsunami of Pussy-toes, Anennaria plantaginifolia, washes down a barren slope. Later, beautiful American Lady butterflies may lay their eggs on the foliage.

Without doubt, one of the showiest woodland wildflowers is the Greek Valerian, Polemonium reptans. This is the variety villosum, which was named by Ohio botanist Lucy Braun.

A meadow dappled with brilliant scarlet Indian-paintbrush, Castilleja coccinea, is an almost shocking spectacle. It is the bracts (modified leaves) that are colored orange, not the flowers. The latter are inconspicuous and green.


Auralee said...

Jim--would ths be a good time to visit Cedar Bog (Fen)? I visited last year for the first time on a hot July day last summer and I was amazed. What fun we had teasing out the plant names with the help of Newcomb's.

Jim McCormac said...

Anytime is a good time for Cedar Bog, Auralee! Yes, there would be lots of things to see now - the wooded areas have plenty of spring wildflowers.

Verna said...

This is cool!