Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Some Spring Wildflowers

Two years ago I planted a couple of spring wildflowers around the yard. I was hoping to get these established and reproducing. I think either the harsh winter or the rodent population had other plans though. Most of my Trilliums so far haven't come up this year but a few noted successes give me hope to get everything up and running.

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, is one such success. I started with just 3 of these. Last year they all came up, but none of them flowered. I blame squirrels which dug around the plants a lot in search of food. This exposed the roots to the harsh cold and now I'm down to one plant. What's great though is that it flowered, and it's fairly pretty.

It's hard to tell but the petals are slightly pink/purple. It's actually kind of odd because the color seems to be more noticeable at night and during the day when the sun is shining the flower appears white.

Here's the pink slightly purple I was talking about. I'm hoping this plant is self fertile and produces seeds. It's one of our plants that is distributed thanks to ants. Gardeners usually don't like this because we like to plant in rows and ants are more messy. I'll be going for the messy look myself, and I'll be sure to plant some more of these. Increase my chances of catching an ant in the act.

Hepatica is another little jewel I thought I'd lost. I planted four of these initially. And I thought all but 1 died. The little clover-like leaf this plant produces is semi evergreen. It lasts the winter but falls off sometime towards the end of the season. That made this little plant so much harder to spot. I really can't stress enough how tiny and delicate looking this flower is.

I've seen smaller flowers of course but usually they're in clusters. This flower is about a centimeter. Note the hairs all over the stem. Those are to prevent ants from climbing on up and stealing nectar from the flower. I forget weather or not ants are later used to disperse the seeds, but it gives me something to find out later on. What's really great though is that multiple flowers come from the same plant.

And it turns out 2 of the plants survived. The other simply didn't produce a leaf. But it has produced a flower. I'll be planting more of this little jewel around the base of trees and along the moss covered roots.

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