Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wednesday's Woodland Walk

Dutchman's Breeches

The early spring wildflowers along my woodland path have finally burst into full bloom this week! After a few days of rain, the warmth of the sun seemed to bring the woods back to life from the long cold winter! Here are a few of the wonderful flowers that are making me smile this week!

The Dutchman's Breeches (above picture) are one of my favorites! The odd flower looks like a pair of pants turned upside down (personally, I think they look like teeth!) They grow up to 12" and have finely cut leaves. Once these plants got established in my woods they began multiplying into large clumps that I divided and transplanted into different areas of the path. After blooming, their leaves die back in the summer.  (Interesting fact: Bumble bees are one of the only insects that can reach deep inside the flower with their long tongues to get the nectar.)

They look great with the blue snow glories shown in the picture!

Snow Glories

Beautiful  snow glories are beginning to carpet the woodland floor in a sea of blue patches. These lovely star shaped flowers spread quickly and grow to about 4-6". They go dormant after blooming and disappear by the summer.

Spring  Beauty

These lovely white to pink dainty native flowers can be enjoyed only when its sunny out! These interesting flowers close each night, on cloudy days, and if you try to pick them! Needless to say, enjoy them where they are growing! Their tubers are edible, but I think I will test that out some other time!

Growing to 6-12" high, they slowly spread by self seeding and spreading rhizomes. After blooming they die back and go dormant until next spring.


Bloodroot

When my husband and I went to the Smokey Mountains, there was a store that was selling these little gems in small packets of 3. I bought a pack just to see if they would live in this area. Wildflowers are quite particular about their habitats and I was quite surprised after two years I finally saw a single white flower popping up from the leaves. 20 years later I have been able to transplant little groups of these wonderful flowers around my path. I just love how they popup with the single leaf wrapped around the stem and then slowly open up as the flower blooms. Bloodroot has gorgeous white petatls and  received its name for the red juice within its rhizome. It grows 6-9" and will usually go dormant in the summer on my path when there is not enough rain.
Another interesting fact about this plant is when the seed pod splits open to release the seeds they are often collected by ants and carried away for them to eat the nutrituious outer area of the seed. That helps the bloodroot spread to other areas.

  I hope to share more awesome flowers next week. I love this time of year. Each day there is something new to be delighted by! Now is a wonderful time to go hiking in your local woods. Grab your wildflower guide and let me know what you discovered. Just to remind you, wildflowers should never be dug up from public lands unless you have permission! Many local garden clubs or wildflower sanctuaries have annual sales. I live about an hour away from Bowman's Hill Wildflower Sanctuary in PA , over the years I have purchased many of my wildflowers at their annual plant sale. It's first come, first served, so if anyone decides to go to one of these plant sales, go early for the best selection!
Have a great day!

 

4 comments:

Faerie Moon Creations said...

How beautiful! I could look at flowers all day long. We've got tulips, daffodils, crocuses, hyacinths, grape hyacinths, and our weeping cherry tree just blossomed today. :) Theresa

tkdesigns4u said...

Hi Theresa!
Sounds wonderful! I always wanted a weeping cherry tree! I have a beautiful pink cherry tree that is covering my front walk with pink snow!(that's what it looks like when it starts losing its petals!) Spring is a gorgeous time! Thanks for the comment!

Julie Magers Soulen said...

I loved hearing about the spring flowers in your woods. Beautiful shots too!

Cheers!
Julie
Julie Magers Soulen Photography

tkdesigns4u said...

Thanks Julie!
Thats encouraging coming from you!:-)

Have a great day!
Tracey