Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I always read WiseAcre's blog for his witty prose and to admire his fantastic photographs. I must thank him for mentioning that the wildflowers are nearly a month earlier than last year. Asleep at the switch, I would have missed seeing some of my favorites. Thanks to him, Ed and I went wildflower hunting today!
Our first picture looks like a dandelion. This flowers' seed pod also looks like it belongs to a dandelion. I remember my surprise when it was pointed out to me that this early spring yellow ray flower is called coltsfoot. I also discovered that coltsfoot should not be introduced to a garden. It spreads by an underground rhizome that has no limit and accepts no barrier. Enjoy this early bright color wherever you see it but leave it in the wild.
Bloodroot flowers are delicate. Opening up in full sun, they close at night. These white and yellow beauties will only last a couple of hot days. A heavy windstorm can blow their delicate petals away. We were lucky to catch these while their stems are still tightly clasped by their leaves.
This picture shows a progression of emerging bloodroot flowers. It begins with a small tightly sheathed leaf, a slightly larger clasped leaf and finally the lovely flowers with the leaves just beginning to release their grasp on the flower's stem. The sap of these beautiful little plants is carmine red and somewhat toxic. Ed has tried without success to introduce bloodroot to our land. One year and gone seems to be its growth habit here. We are anxiously looking for any sign of life from the plants set out last year. Just to be safe new plants have been ordered again this year.