Posts Tagged 'flowers'

Springing

Anemone americanaWhen last we saw some blooming Round-lobed Hepatica, it was the white variety in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Over the weekend, we found a little cluster of the pink variation further north in Black Rock Forest.Veratrum virideWe initially took this pleated beauty for Skunk Cabbage, but further research by the Horticulturalist tells us this is actually False Hellebore (Veratrum viride). Like Skunk Cabbage, it’s a big leafy green that sprouts early, so the two are often confused. This would be a mistake should you be a forager: False Hellebore is quite toxic. Wikipedia gives a host of alternate names: American White Hellebore, Bear Corn, Big Hellebore, Corn Lily, Devils Bite, Duck Retten, Indian Hellebore, Itch-weed, Itchweed, Poor Annie, Blue Hellebore, and Tickleweed. Unlike Skunk Cabbage, the flowers come after the leaves.

Earth Day

In reality, of course, everyday is Earth Day.Asarum canadenseFrom the Black Rock Forest, here’s an emerging Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) flower. Sialia sialisAn Eastern Bluebird (Sialia sialis).Rana clamitans melanotaAnd some Green Frogs (Rana clamitans), before or after amplexus?

Nature Morte

TulipaThe French for still life is nature morte. Doesn’t that just light up your brain?TulipaThese senescent Tulipa held together a good long week.

And poppin': Yellow Trout-lily

Erythronium americanumThe Trout-lilies (Erythronium americanum) are amongst us once again. These were in Prospect Park; a friend reports them out and about in the far north of the New York Botanical Garden as well.Erythronium americanumThe flower’s tepals curve back like this on bright sunny days, leaving the anthers fully exposed for pollinators. (There’s still not all that much flying, but every day is revealing new insects.) In some specimens of this species, the anthers and pollen are yellow, unlike the red-brown seen here.

The common name seems to come from the mottled pattern of the leaves, like a trout’s scale pattern. Flowering versions have a pair of leaves; non-flowering versions have a single leaf and are usually members of a clonal colony, duplicates of their neighbors. According to Carol Gracie, other names for this flower include Adder’s Tongue, Fawn-lily, and Dog-tooth Violet.

Quintessential spring ephemerals, these aren’t in bloom for long. Look for them (and smell them!). As with all wildflowers, don’t you dare pick them!

Bloodroot

Sanguinaria canadensisBloodroot. What a name, eh? Sanguinaria canadensis has blood-red sap. (The “root” is actually a rhizome.) The sap has historically been used as a dye and for medicinal purposes. Sanguinaria canadensisThey emerge enveloped by the leaf, then shoot above this protective cloak before opening.
Sanguinaria canadensisLook for these on sunny days when they offer their pollen to early-spring fliers. At night and on overcast days, the flowers close.

Hepatica

Anemone americanaA single blooming Anemone in the leaf litter. But more are on the way.

Some interesting taxonomic issues raised by this one: The genus name for this spring ephemeral used to be Hepatica and some still think it is. Hepatica, meanwhile, is used as the common name; it’s also called Liverleaf or Liverwort. I’m not sure which species, A. americana or A. acutiloba, this particular one is (or is that H. american or H. acutiloba)? [I’m taking this info from Carol Gracie’s Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast.]

Signs and Meanings

SalixHamamelisEranthis hyemalisSturnus vulgaris“‘You know my method. It is founded upon the observation of trifles.'” ~ A.C. Doyle.


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