Native Plants This Spring

– Posted in: Native/Invasive, What's up/blooming

image of violets in small glass jarsMay is always a busy month, what with birthdays (3 this month), Mother’s Day, a garden going to weeds, and homeschooling paperwork, but this past week had additional expected and unexpected busy-ness. It’s very easy to miss the spring ephemerals if you’re not careful. I know, because I’ve done it before. And if you go traipsing off in the woods, it’s very easy to use up whatever time you had to spare for blogging. Been there, done that, too. Well, dear readers, here are some posies to make it up to you. Violets in purple and white, and false strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides) in yellow. I actually grow a yellow violet on the north side of the house, but it bloomed and went by before a photo was snapped.

Virginia bluebellsTrillium grandiflorumMayapples - Photo taken by Cadie on May 7, 2006In the Secret Garden, Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica) and Large Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum commutatum) are blooming around the old stone-lined spring that used to be our house’s water supply. Canada lily sproutFurther up the path, imported trilliums (Trillium grandiflorum) are blooming and mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) have opened their umbrellas. Queen-of-the-Prairie (Filipendula rubra) is coming up, and I was very happy to discover my one-and-only Canada lily sprout (Lilium canadense). That plant has never bloomed since I put it in the ground, but since it has survived being toppled by one thing or another every year since it got here, I’m just thankful it’s alive, again.

Trout lily - Photo taken by Cadie on April 25, 2006Up in the woods, more mayapples, and lots of trout lilies (Erythronium americanum, pictured) . The trout lilies are actually done now; they bloomed the last week in April. I saw the first wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) a couple of days after Cadie spotted it. Soon they will be blooming all over. One day I’d like to get the white form and plant it near the house. And I caught the tail end of the Gaywings (Polygala paucifolia). Gaywings are so cute and our woods are carpeted with them. To me they look like propellers. But they are also tiny, and it is difficult to get a good photo of them, so go here and scroll about two-thirds down the page. The photo is next to the paragraph that starts out “Similarly, bishop’s cap . . .”

My latest native plant acquisitions are planted on the north side of the house where it is shady and moist, and I can baby them (weed and water) better. I have Dwarf Larkspur (Delphinium tricorne) and Early Meadow Rue (Thalictrum dioicum). I also have the lovely double blood root (Sanguinaria canadensis ‘Multiplex’), thanks to the generosity of my friend Bub.
Dwarf larkspurEarly meadow rueDouble bloodroot - Photo taken by Justin in May 2003If you hover your mouse over the image, you will see that the photo of the double bloodroot was taken in 2003. I noticed that there are a lot less weeds around the bloodroot this year than there were in that photo. Maybe I am making some progress . . .

About the Author

Kathy Purdy is a colchicum evangelist, converting unsuspecting gardeners into colchicophiles. She would be delighted to speak to your group about colchicums or other gardening topics. Kathy’s been writing since 4th grade, gardening since high school, and blogging since 2002.

If winter is slumber and spring is birth, and summer is life, then autumn rounds out to be reflection. It’s a time of year when the leaves are down and the harvest is in and the perennials are gone. Mother Earth just closed up the drapes on another year and it’s time to reflect on what’s come before.

~Mitchell Burgess in Northern Exposure

Comments on this entry are closed.

Geraldine July 13, 2006, 1:08 pm

What a great photo, beautiful flowers too. Thanks for sharing. Got here via EFG. We live on the Canadian Prairies at present, hardy gardening INDEED….


Daniel May 22, 2006, 4:06 pm

I love these pictures you have. Beautiful. Keep us posted on your conquering of the weeds, as you are a master compared to me on this.