Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Wildflowers

A sweet violet


I love wildflowers. Who doesn't? I am especially fond of spring wildflowers that grow in deciduous forests. These plants need sunlight to grow, bloom, and set seed, and they have a limited opportunity to do that, between the end of winter and the trees leafing out. They have to be fast, and things change weekly, if not daily. Time is always against me in the spring, so I never get to see all of my favorites every year. Sometimes I forget their names, but I never forget a face.
Dutchman's Breeches: a perennial favorite


Solomon's Seal is one of those whose names always confuse me each spring. This is the "True" or "Smooth" Solomon's Seal. The buds and flowers hang under the leaves.

Smooth Solomon's Seal


And this is the "False" Solomon's Seal, also called Solomon's Plume. The flower is at the end of the frond.

Solomon's Plume


This year, I made some new friends at the New River Birding and Nature Festival, in West Virginia, like this squawroot. It is actually a parasite, deriving its nutrients from the roots of the oak trees it grows on.

Squawroot


Some wildflowers look like they belong in your garden. This wild geranium looks a lot like the cranesbill geranium that I have around my gazebo.


Wild Geranium


This sedum would be at home in any yard's rock garden. (Note the tiny bug.)

Wild Stonecrop

Too bad the spring wildflower season is so short. I missed seeing so many things this year.

[Thanks, Julie, for reminding me of some of the names.]

8 comments:

Lynne said...

I've never seen Dutchman's Breeches or that Squawroot in the wild. That little wild stonecrop is beautiful. I wonder if it's available at a nursery?

NatureWoman said...

Katdoc - I *love* spring wildflowers, too, and this year I missed most of my favorites, but I'm making a point of being out there to see them next year!

Susan Gets Native said...

I am seeing more wildflowers this year, just because I am getting my behind out in the forest and taking pictures. I don't know one from another, but I am learning.
It is amazing that anything is blooming this year. It got so hot and dry so fast! Where did Spring go, darn it?

Jayne said...

It's been so dry here, many wildflowers just did not make it to blooming. Never thought north Georgia would feel like a dustbowl.

littleorangeguy said...

Dutchman's Breeches ... aka Butter and Eggs. A lovely little thing, either way.

-Sara

KatDoc said...

Sara:

Perhaps "Butter and Eggs" is a local name for Dutchman's Breeches in your area, but my Audubon wildflower guide shows it as a different plant. Dutchman's Breeches are in the Poppy family, genus Dicentra, along with Squirrel Corn and Bleeding Heart. Butter-and-eggs is a member of the Snapdragon family, Linaria vulgaris.

I don't have a photo of Butter and Eggs, but here is a link to show the differences:
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=LIVU2&photoID=livu2_003_avp.jpg

Mary said...

Like north Georgia, it's dry as a bone here in Charlotte. I don't think the wild flowers are making it. But I do get out and look for them.

littleorangeguy said...

As we know from another Ohio blogger, my peeps the Newfoundlanders do have many different names for common plants and animals. But this is not one of them and I'm wrong. Had I looked at the picture more closely, I would have seen it's a different flower. Still pretty stuff, though.

-Sara