Saturday, May 16, 2009

Mid-May Flowers at the VIC

I have a flower walk this morning, so yesterday I cruised the trails to see what was actually blooming. I was surprised by the variety I found (and disappointed that once more I missed the trout lilies). So, here's a quick synopsis:

Purple Trillium (Trillium erectum) are still blooming, but if you want to see them, I recommend you come soon for they will soon be on their last proverbial legs.

That said, the Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum) are now in full flower!

Lots of violets! The yellow one I believe is Downy Yellow Violet (Viola pubescens), while the white one is Northern White Violet (Viola pallens) and the blue one is Northern Blue Violet (Viola septentrionalis).

And one of my favorites - Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica). It's such a sweet little flower - I love the purple veins against the white petals.

Uvularia (as in uvula - the "hangy-down part" in the back of your throat) is one of my favorite flower names! In common language, this is the Sessile-leaved Bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia), aka: wild oats.

Witchhobble (Viburnum alnifolium) is just getting started. I'd guess about 30% of the shrubs I passed yesterday had some blossoms.

Shad (Amalanchier sp.), on the other hand, is in full bloom all around Newcomb.

Bluets (Houstonia sp.)are doing well in open areas (usually near water). I suspect these are Creeping Bluets (H. serphyllifolia), which are a deeper blue than regular bluets, and also have rounder leaves.

And Foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia), aka False Miterwort, is only just starting to open as well. I'd say about 15% of what I found yesterday had some open flowers.

And this morning I found the first Jack-in-the-pulpits (Arisaema sp.)! I looked yesterday and didn't see any, so they may have come up overnight. As you can see from the first photo, it is only just emerging. The second one I found (we see the interior of this one) was fully open. There are several species of Jacks (just visit any botanical garden and you will see some delightful varieties, most of which are Asian); Newcomb's Wildflower Guide lists three: Indian Turnip (A. atrorubens), Northern (A. stewardsonii) and Small (A. triphyllum). I believe we have the first one - Indian Turnip - note the green and purple stripes on the spathe. It is the most common of the three, and the earliest to bloom.

Coming soon:

Canada Mayflower (Maianthemum canadense)

Bluebead Lily (Clintonia borealis), aka Yellow Clintonia

Pink Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium acaule), aka Moccasin Flower

Indian Cucumber Root (Medeola virginiana)

So hit the woods, folks! Now is the time to see the woodland flowers. Once the leaves fully emerge on the trees, these delightful flowers will disappear until next spring.

1 comment:

  1. Nice photos! I especially love that Painted Trillium. I have only found it in really dark woods and have a hard time getting it in focus or capturing the lovely color. Your shot is perfect! I'm heading up to Pharaoh Wilderness next week and hope to find some still in bloom.