Spring Beauties

We found two woodland wildflowers in bloom yesterday on Staten Island:Trout Lily, a.k.a. Yellow Adder’s Toungue (!) Erythronium americanum. Lots of these handsome, mottled leaves poking out of the carpet of leaf litter. Note that the particular plants above are single-leaf. It’s the ones with two leaves that produce a flower:A buzz of insects were flying around these blooms:and several of these Red-necked False Blister beetles (Asclera ruficollis – h/t to Bug Guide) were sticking to them.
And this is the eponymous Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica. Quintessential wildflower: small — about 3/4ths inch long — and with its pink lines, lovely.

Thanks to wildflower maven Marielle Anzelone for identifying these for me. Also saw Blue Cohosh and Virginia Waterleaf, both of which are rare for the city, but neither was yet in bloom.

7 Responses to “Spring Beauties”


  1. 1 Elizabeth White March 24, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I saw some spring beauties in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden a few days ago (Tuesday) – the Carolina version (Claytonia caroliniana). Unfortunately, I did not see any sign of the second patch nearby, which I think was the narrow-leafed Claytonia virginica.

  2. 3 alphonsegaston March 24, 2012 at 9:20 pm

    When I got back from my first visit of the year to my local favorite nursery with a $5.98 dogtooth violet, as we called erythronium in my childhood, I read your post and had to run out back to see if the plant I had bought has two leaves. Yes! I also paid $7.98 for a common trillium–in years past I had lots of them but sold that part of the woods for a neighbor’s driveway.
    Oddly, I don’t see any spring beauties here yet, although the bloodroot are blooming.

    • 4 mthew March 25, 2012 at 8:54 am

      We searched high and low for bloodroot, but found none this time.

      • 5 Elizabeth White March 25, 2012 at 4:37 pm

        There are a few in the Native Flora section of the BBG. A few Dutchman’s breeches too. I didn’t seen any of the trout lilies in bloom yet – just leaves.

  3. 6 meemsnyc March 27, 2012 at 2:27 am

    You were in my neck of the woods. What part of Staten Island were you on to see these beauties? How amazing that lilies are already blooming! So early in the season.


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