Monday, April 28, 2008

Releasing the wildflowers

I started tackling the garlic mustard in our woods several years ago. It is an endless task, but this year I may have seen some rewards. The appearance of these plants could be a result of the rain we received last winter, but please let me believe that it was the result of four years trying to eradicate garlic mustard, which prevents spring ephemerals from blooming.

As I was on my search and destroy mission against the garlic mustard enemy, I found a jack-in-the-pulpit. I had found one several years ago in the northwest corner of the woods, but this was the first time I saw one in the southeast corner.This is a trillium,trillium sessile, commonly called toadshade today but known as wake robin a hundred years ago. This is the first time I've seen it in the woods. It is clump forming and I am pleased to see two plants in my emerging clump.
Of course, this trillium, trillium grandiflora, is becoming abundant. It is so exciting to spot one in a new place in our little woods.This is known as lady's thumb. I heard a story about the "bloody" thumbprint and tried to find it online to no avail. She pricked her finger was one version and another version as she murdered her husband and left evidence on this little plant. Online I found a Scottish tale about the plant was at the foot of the cross. Or you can make up your own story!The mayapple patches are spreading. Steve and I wondered about the two distinct shapes in this patch. And this is my unknown but distinctive plant. The stems are a glaucous blue. No flowers yet. I'll have to keep monitoring it.


JLH said...

Thanks for another lovely post. I hadn't heard the name "lady's thumb!" It appeared in my small yard one year, and I looked it up and found it was called snakeroot. I've let it spread a bit, beacuse it's interesting, but I have to control it. In my north-facing shadier back yard I've been planting wildflowers and right now have three trillums that have been there for three years, bluebells (about five years) and either Solomon's Seal or False Solomon's seal, which I planed last year. All three I bought, but I also have a plant brought to me from the mountains by a camper. He called it Fairy Candle, and when I look it up it's some form of cohosh. It survives and has yearly foliage over my dog's grave but so far has never produced the tall white flower spikes it had in the wild. Best wishes from western North carolina!

Kylee said...

Is your mystery plant Twinleaf, by any chance? (Jeffersonia diphylla)