The tiny world of spring ephemerals

While you are poking about in ditch water, keep an eye out for early spring ephemerals growing in the woods. Winter aconite shows first in my garden along with a nice purple primrose, so now I look for claytonia, ‘Virginia spring beauty’ or ‘fairy spud’ with 5 petal pink to white flowers just peeking through leaves on the forest floor. Soon to bloom is the yellow trout lily or ‘dog-toothed violet’ with its clump of tiny yellow and bronze flowers nodding a few inches above the path. Another tiny bloomer, ‘harbinger of spring’ has been flowering all winter with its white flower clusters, carrot type of leaves and bright red anthers.
I have planted several ‘bleeding hearts’ only to discover them growing wild alongside Virginia bluebells and ‘bloodroot’ which blooms white but has crimson roots. Twinleaf which resembles bloodroot and the bright blue of hepatica (not a true ephemeral as it has a 3 lobed evergreen ground cover) need some limestone in the soil to flourish so I don’t see them often in my woods. There is a nice spread of foam flowers which shift around forming larger and smaller patches from year to year. Crested iris, rue anemone, and columbine pop up with the prolific wood poppy all making a grand show in a small way early in spring.
I planted 20 trillium rhizomes given by a friend which have formed a dense mat and, because ants deposit the seeds all over, they have spread around. The ‘Lady Slipper’ orchid is the prize of my woods walk but it comes later. Keep your eyes open and look down; the forest floor will open up with tiny blooms to brighten the day and declare the coming season.
Though some of these flowers spread and invade, many are endangered and protected. Some come from gnarly unrecognizable corms deep in the earth and do not transplant well. If you want to add them to your landscape, buy them, don’t dig them from the wild. If you don’t have a woodland, find a nice hike in any of our state parks from now through May to enjoy the beautiful tiny world of spring ephemerals.


Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138