Friday, April 24, 2015

Bloodroot and Other Ephemera


The march of spring ephemerals is on. One of the first is Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. I spotted this one near the driveway and waited for it to open.



Morning to evening, I always missed open hours.



Another day, I found a group on the north slope, just off the old tractor road.



Brilliant. Bloodroot (above), sedge, ramps (not blooming, but edible), and Cutleaf Toothwort are up and doing their ephemeral thing. The last one, Cardamine concatenata, is new to me. It has finely cut foliage and delicate four petal flowers. It is a lovely plant. Should its leaves hold on as the season progresses, it may be a good candidate for a garden bed.



The Minnesota Wildflowers site helped me identify this one -first reported a couple of weeks ago. It's name is Virginia Wetleaf, Hydrophyllum virginianum, and native to the eastern woodlands of which we are on the very western edge.



It is so much easier to identify plants with their flowers and, as is so often the case, guides use bloom time to categorize species. Not knowing when this plant was going to bloom added to the challenge. So, I simply clicked on every spring blooming wild flower link until I found a leaf that roughly matched. The match had leaf markings that my original image did not show. I went out and looked at them again. The telltale markings, the source of the common name, were now apparent. With flower pictures to complement the ID, I also recalled seeing these flowers around the woods in June. Wonderful.


Of course, new things are popping up all the time.



All the while the leaves on the trees are a ticking clock that soon strikes shade.




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