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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

More Wildflowers

Today's entry continues with my wildflower outing.  Every year,  my friend, Pat's birding group, for one day, switches its focus from birds to flowers.  This is the second year that Pat has invited me to join the fun. 
The three leaves and petals of Trillium grandiflorum, Large white trillium, greeted our group wherever we looked. Trilliums on the hillside,  
trilliums along the stream . . .
trilliums not yet open,

and trilliums beginning to fade to shades of pink and lavender, first showing dark veins. This, one of the most easily identifiable wildflower has been chosen by the State of Ohio as its state flower.
While there were plenty, the trillium was not the most numerous plant we found.  That award goes to Blue-eyed Mary (Colinsia verna)
Blue-eyed mary, (Collinsia verna)
Though we found some of these members of the figwort family growing individually, the real show was when it grew in mass patches covering a hillside. Look closely at the photo below and you will see the tiny blue and white carpeting the ground in the woods.
  My favorite spot, though was the yard with the dogs.  I don't really like to see dogs attached by chains to their house.  They usually look neglected and lonely.  These dogs undoubtedly were unaware that their small world was surrounded by such beauty.
Many of the plants found this time of year tend toward blues, lavender and white, though there are plenty of exceptions.
Greek valerian, (Polemonium reptan) is one that fits the pattern with its bluish-laventer flowers. 
Don't use the internet to identify this wildflower and don't use your friends. When your friend tells you that Greek valerian is the same as Jacob's ladder (Polemonium van-bruntiae britton) just smile, say thank-you then open a good guidebook There are differences. 
They are both in the same family as Phlox which we saw in yesterday's blog entry. 
Continuing with the with the blue-lavender theme, is Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), a very common sight in Appalachian woods. 
A new find for me was Persian speedwell (Veronica persica) While many people do not like this plant when it shows up on their lawns, its dainty petals were a sweet treat on our stream bank.
It is so hard to stop but I don't want to keep you too long so just a few more.  First the rich velvet purple of Larkspur (Delphinium)
I think this one is a Delphinium exaltatum, though it could be Delphinium tricorne.  My photo looks like the exaltatum but my book tells me that it doesn't bloom until mid summer.  Perhaps that is because my Flora of West Virginia covers West Virginia and finds the plant only in our mountains. It may bloom sooner in the lowlands of the Ohio River valley. If you know, please tell me in the comments.
I have only one more plant to show you today.  It is the Sessile trillium, (Trillium sessile) often called Toadshade.
Here it is growing beneath the Larkspur. Like other trilliums it has three leaves and each flower has three petals but the Sessile's leaves are more rounded and its flowers don't open all the way up, sitting atop the plant like like a sentry.
Our last and perhaps least plant for today is a Corn salad (Valerianella)
It is not very obvious among the woodland wildflowers. This plant will have a taller flower as it matures.

Today's journey was a long one, but I hope I haven't worn you out. Tomorrow we'll have lunch at Columbine rock then we will look at a few birds.  
See you tomorrow!


Cynthia White said...

Lovely. beautiful color!

RedPat said...

What a wonderful assortment of lowers that are already in bloom. We are a bit behind you. The Trillium is the official flower of Ontario too!

floweringmama said...

What a great post and beautiful pictures. Looks like a fun day!