Monday, April 30, 2007

April 30: Mountain Laurel

I'm ending the month with Pennsylvania's state flower, Mountain Laurel. Don't tell anybody, but I took this picture in Tennessee!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

April 29: Spring Beauty, Squirrel Corn, Wild Geranium, and Rue Anemone

I am nearly at the end of April and I still have a lot of flowers to put on display, so you get an end-of-the-month four pack of blooms. These four are common springtime wildflowers in Pennsylvania and in Tennessee. I have pictures of each from both places. Spring Beauty is above; Squirrel Corn is below.

Wild Geranium above; Rue Anemone below. This particular anemone appears to have a double flower. Most anemone blooms don't have the extra layer of petals.

Saturday, April 28, 2007

April 28: Cut-Leaf Toothwort

A fine Pennsylvania wildflower with a funny name :)

Friday, April 27, 2007

April 27: Angelica (I think)

On top of Roan Mountain in Tennessee.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

April 26: Lady Slipper Orchids

These are flowers with highly unusual shapes!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

April 25: Hepatica

Hepatica comes in sharp-lobed and round-lobed varieties. The lobes refer to the leaves. One species has leaves with round lobes, while the other's leaves have much sharper points. Round-lobed hepatica has a purplish tint to its flowers and leaves. The name hepatica refers to the liver. Because the leaves of the plant resemble the shape of the human liver, it was believed that the plant could cure diseases of that organ.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

April 24: Trout Lily

Here's another familiar flower that I remember from the time spent on my grandparent's farm. I remember that the leaves of the lilies sometimes nearly covered the banks of the creek.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

April 22: Goat's Rue

More of a summer flower, Goat's Rue tends to grow in disturbed "waste" spaces.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

April 21: Canadian Mayflower

These small flowers grow high in the Smokies, but normally they only grow much further north. I guess that's why "Canadian" is in the name :)

Friday, April 20, 2007

April 20: Mistflower

This lovely blue flower isn't a spring wildflower at all, but I couldn't resist including it. I found it growing in Cumberland Gap in September of last year.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

April 19: Nodding and Spotted Mandarin

Mandarins are in the lily family. This one is the "nodding" variety. Below is Spotted Mandarin.

April 18: Shrub Yellowroot

This plant is funny because it normally grows with its leaves and flowers sprouting out the top of a long thin woody stem. This one was growing out the side of a rock outcrop so its hard to see its unique construction.

Friday, April 13, 2007

April 17: Bloodroot

I think the name is given because the roots have a reddish color. Bloodroot is one of the earlier bloomers in the forest.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

April 16: Dwarf Crested Iris

One of the classic flowers of the Smokies, and East Tennessee in general. These two are out on the Cumberland Plateau.

April 15: Polygala

Polygala is another flower I found in the woods of home and brought excitedly back to Grandma to identify. Polygala has such an unusual shape. I was amazed when I first ran across it. And I have to admit, I thought Grandma was making stuff up when she told me it was something called "polygala." A common name for it is "Gay Wings", hinting at the shape of the petals.

April 14: Trailing Arbutus

As I will be out of town again for a few days, I am posting ahead. I'll catch up again on the 18th!

The plants are small and low-lying but its well worth the effort of stooping over to catch the scent of the flowers! This is one of the wildflowers I could find in the woods of my grandparent's farm. I picked some blooms once, and not knowing what they were, took them back to Grandma. She knew their name and told me to smell them; she was quite wise about both wild and domesticated plants. I believe she said trailing arbutus was a favorite of Grandma Mamie. I always think of family when I see these flowers :)

April 13: Painted Trillium

This is my favorite trillium. I know I have alot of favorites :) This trillium was growing in a tree stump and its the only one I ever saw. I had been hunting it and was extremely pleased to finally find it.

April 12: Showy Orchis

One of my favorites, it is a type of orchid. This was taken along a short roadside trail in the Smokies, near the parking area for the Chimneys trail.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

April 11: Fraser's Sedge

Another picture from that magical springtime in the Smokies. It might not technically qualify as a wild "flower" but its still interesting. I think this plant is somewhat unusual in that it doesn't have any close relatives except for a similar plant in China. It likes to grow on steep shaded streambanks in the mountains. It gave the forest a kind of "jungle" feel with its long dark green draping leaves.

Monday, April 09, 2007

April 10: Sessile Trillium

Another set of snowy flowers from Glen Helen. I'm a little unsure of the identification here. Its definitely a trillium, but it might not be a sessile trillium. I'm also not sure why I really like to know what things are called :)

April 9: Dutchman's Breeches

I think the Easter snows caught everyone by surprise, even the wildflowers. As I was in Ohio this weekend, we took the opportunity to explore Glen Helen. Glen Helen is a park/preserve owned by Antioch College in Yellow Springs. Justin had told me about it quite a while ago, because his Mother took him there often when he was little and he has fond memories. However, about two months ago, Outdoor Photographer ran a one-page feature on Glen Helen. It was a certain pro photographer's "secret spot" where good photo opportunities could always be found. That certainly piqued my interest!

As you'll see on my posts today and tomorrow, the snowfall created an "enchanted forest" effect. The flowers get their name because the blooms look like pants, or breeches, hanging upside down from a clothesline.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

April 8: Violets, Part 3

Beaked Violet, above. Sweet White Violet, below.

A Canadian Violet, in harsh lighting. This is the last violet, I promise :)

April 7: Violets, Part 2

Bird's Foot Violet, above. Halberd-Leaved Violet, below.

April 6: Violets, Part 1

Above are roundleaf yellow violets; below is a wood violet. There are many species of violets out there, and I am reasonably sure that I've identified these correctly. But sometimes sorting out the different types really stumps me (phlox is the same way)!

Monday, April 02, 2007

April 5: Fringed Phacelia

Fringed Phacelia, from up close and far away. Jake's Creek Trail in the Greenbriar area of the Great Smokies is famous for its wildflowers, and in particular for the display put on by fringed phacelia. The little flower literally covers acres of the forest floor along the lower part of the trail for a short time in April. Beautiful!

Because of Easter Weekend, I will be away from home and internet access until Monday. So, I will post my blogs for the upcoming days all at once, and let you bask in buckets of violets. I hope everyone has a Happy Easter, and safe travels for anyone traveling!

April 4: Celandine Poppy

I'm not 100% sure of this identification (or some of of the others, I'll let you know when I'm not). I found this poppy in deep shade along the Clinch River just below Norris Dam. TVA has a wonderful trail that traverses the side of a steep hill that follows the river. Because Norris Dam is high, very cold water is released from its bottom to keep the Clinch River flowing. You often find an eerie fog in the morning and evening because of the difference in temperatures between air and water. I have pictures of this, somewhere, on a back-up cd :)

April 3: Wild Ginger

Wild Ginger is one of the earliest bloomers, and one of the stranger looking ones, too. It's a low-lying vine that's usually found in or near running water. Therefore, the Smokies in springtime were full of it!

I liked the following picture because you can see the texture of the stems and petals.