Here is a story that I have not yet had time to tell. In May I went to visit a wonderful road for viewing wildflowers with my friend, Kitty and our husbands.
|Rough avens (Geum Lacintatum Murr.)|
Below is a probably a Jacob's ladder (Polemonium vanbruniae) Though its sighting almost always produces an argument of Jacob's ladder vs Greek valerian. Both are in the Phlox family and are very similar. Greek valerian (Polemonium reptans) may have fewer leaflets but the numbers overlap a lot. In Jacob's Ladder the stamens protrude below the flower as can be seen in the flower at the top right of the photo below. Other marks made me think it might be a Greek valerian since it doesn't have as many leaflets as some plants. I really don't know for sure but I am going with Jacob's ladder for now. One year I went with a group of experienced wildflower people who all had field guides and Flora of West Virginia. We never reached a consensus after spending 1/2 hour with this one plant alone. Feel free to add your own identification theory.
|Polemonium - either vanbruniae or reptans|
Right beside it was this Large-flowered trillium. (Trillium grandiflorum) While the petals are bright white when it first blooms,
they fade to a lavender-gray or pink as the bloom matures
Mixed in with them all were Painted trilliums (Trillium undulatum) in the photo below. Notice the Jacob's ladder or Greek valerian around it. Trilliums are in the Lily family. All have 3 leaves on the plant and 3 showy petals on the flower. Though they usually bloom early, before the overhead canopy is too thick, the flowers petals take a long time to fall off and the leaves persist well into summer storing valuable energy for next spring's show.
All these plants were within a 20-25 foot area along the road. Kitty and I didn't even have to get our shoes dirty to find them though John's shoe did get pretty muddy when he sacrificed it to a wet ditch in order to check out a plant a little more closely.
I'll have several more days to show you this fruitful wildflower trip so come back tomorrow.