Thursday, May 15, 2008

More Spring Wildflowers

We received another inch of rain since my last post. The trees have filled in completely around our house so we cannot see a view of Walker Mountain. The rain has spawned a fresh crop of ticks, making it risky to go into the woods. I braved it anyway the other day to take some photos of the late spring wildflowers.



Photo: May 13, 2008

This Hoary Puccoon (Lithospermum canescens) is a small plant--no more than 12 inches high. It grows in a stand of Eastern Cedar trees, catching only a couple of hours of sun a day. The flowers are about 1/2" in diameter but with several in a cluster are quite showy against the dark green of the cedar trees. The soil is quite poor and the only other flower there is the columbine.


Photo: May 13, 2008

Wild Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) is a native sedum that grows in many areas of the woods. I transplanted it once and put it on a sunny, rocky slope. It dried up and died soon after but I was transplanted stonecrop by accident later. I had transplanted a clump of Christmas fern to plant near our house. To my delight, Wild Stonecrop sprouted between the rocks I had placed around the fern.


Photo: May 14, 2008

This close-up photo shows the tiny 1/4-inch flowers. The white flowers against the darkening forest floor remind me of stars twinkling in the night sky.

Speaking of transplanting wildflowers, I have had the most success with geraniums.


Photo: May 13, 2008

The Wild Geranium (Gernanium maculatum) has been blooming for several weeks. I transplanted one plant many years ago and the geraniums have spread to make a 100 square-foot flower bed in a semi-shaded area (as shown in photo). According to Leonard Adkins in Wildflowers of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains, the dark lines on the petals of the geranium have an important role in germination.
If you were a bee, these lines would be even more pronounced due to your ability to see ultraviolet light, and would direct you to land on the plant's reproductive parts, to deposit he pollen you picked up from the previous plant you visited, and thus insure the propagation of the species. (p. 158)
Adkins notes that the pollen is blue, rather than the more common yellow. So, the Wild Geranium is a lot more interesting than at first glance!

6 comments:

  1. It's nice to see your wildflowers and to know their names. Thanks for coming to my blog and I'm glad I visited your Appalachian Journal - nice!

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  2. bird girl--thank you for visiting. Hard to choose which are my favorites--wildflowers, birds, or butterflies. I love them all!

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  3. I have stonecrop on my herb garden rock wall--it loves the dampness of that protected area.
    I love the detail of the flower--the little brown specks so perfectly placed...

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  4. I just love this time of the year with all of its colors! Thanks for sharing this with us!

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  5. Nina--I'd like to see a picture of the stonecrop in your herb garden. I think because stonecrop is a sedum, I thought it would like dry rocky slopes but now I see it likes more damp areas.

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  6. mon@rch--yes, the colors, sounds, and smells are really nice this time of year.

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