Friday, April 16, 2010

Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day - The Wildflowers


Never in my five years of gardening have I experienced such an explosion of growth and blooming as we're having this spring.  A month ago, I said that I thought we would have an early spring, due to indicators in my garden.  The birds were giving signs, too. And besides, we were DUE.

While we have a month yet before we pass the date of our average last frost - May 15th - I think the warm weather has lasted long enough now to safely say spring came early this year. That doesn't mean we won't have a frost or two yet, but it wouldn't surprise me if we didn't either.

It's Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, and I literally can't keep up with everything that's blooming or has bloomed up to this point.  How did we go from squealing with delight over seeing the first crocus blooming to deadheading daffodils and hyacinths so quickly?  A part of spring is already over.

The wildflowers are blooming all over Our Little Acre.  Certainly on Wildflower Way, but also in the shade garden below the serviceberry on the north side of the pool house. Today, I'm featuring those wildflowers that I love so much. Tomorrow, I'll show the rest of my blooms.

I've had Trout Lilies for several years, but only the white variety.

White Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum)

This year, a yellow one appeared! There are no others around for more than half a mile, so I'm not sure how this happened, but there it is. Another unusual thing is the foliage isn't mottled, and that is a characteristic of Trout Lilies, which is how they got that common name.

Yellow Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)


Bloodroot is one of my favorites. I love the white daisy-like blooms and the uniquely shaped foliage makes it even more appealing. It gets its common name from the fact that its roots appear to "bleed" when broken.

 Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)


 Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata)


Giant White Trillium is Ohio's state wildflower. In my immediate area, Toadshade Trillium is much more common, but we do have the white.  "Giant" is a great adjective for this trillium!

 Giant White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)


Toadshade Trillium (Trillium sessile)


Spring Beauty is normally more of a pale pinkish color, and has pink veining in its petals, but this one is showing more of a plain white color. I'm pretty sure it is Spring Beauty, but if anyone knows it to be something else, please share that information!

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)


Another of my favorites among the spring wildflowers is Jack-in-the-Pulpit. I've only seen one in the wild in my life and that was in the woods behind the new Holiday Inn in Ft. Wayne (across from Memorial Coliseum).  I was geocaching there and came across one.  

Not knowing a thing about them, since this was in my pre-gardening days, I wanted to dig it up and take it home. I hadn't a clue that it was a bulb, or that native plants normally have very deep origins, so of course, all I got when I dug it was the flower on its stem and some foliage.  I took it home and planted it. It died.  That Jack-in-the-Pulpit is probably still growing in its original location unless it got dug up in the hotel construction process.

I purchased one online, which has not yet appeared, but a couple of years ago, I wintersowed some seeds that Mom had given me from her Jack-in-the-Pulpit. They germinated well and I had lots of seedlings last spring, but no blooms. This year, they're up and blooming!

Jack-in-the-Pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum)


One of the first wildflowers I learned to identify was Dutchman's Breeches.  You can tell they're in the same family as Bleeding Heart (Dicentra spectrabilis) by looking at both the foliage and the bloom.

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)


This Lesser Celandine magically appeared a few years ago out in Max's Garden. I moved it to Wildflower Way last year. These can be invasive, but it doesn't appear to be behaving that way for me.

Lesser Celandine (Ranunculus ficaria)


Wild ginger grows everywhere here. I love the heart-shaped leaves, but their best-kept secret is their flowers! You have to go looking for them, because they're under the leaves, very close to the ground.

Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)


Virginia Bluebells can be stunning when you see them in a drift. That's how I first saw them while out geocaching with my friend Marsha one spring.  They were growing on a shaded river bank and we oohed and ahhed over them. A year later,  Romie and I went back and dug a few to plant here. Those have now naturalized quite nicely in just a few years! I've even shared some of mine.


Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia mertensia)


I've had trouble getting the hybrid Jacob's Ladders through the winter here, but the native one, which I think is just as pretty, does just fine.

Jacob's Ladder (Polemonium reptans)

The Sharp-lobed Hepatica has already bloomed and there are some blooms yet to come, such as Mayapples and Star of Bethlehem. But April is certainly the best month to see these in the woods and in my garden.

16 comments:

Gail said...

What an amazing variety of beautiful flowers.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

These photos remind me that our jack-in-the pulpits aren't up. I wonder what happened to them.?? Beautiful photos and of course i love the flowers.

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Gail ~ I just LOVE wildflowers!

Lisa ~ My originals aren't up either and I remember worrying about them last year, too. But they made it just fine, so yours are probably fine, too.

garden girl said...

Sweet! You have some wonderful wildflowers Kylee.

My Virginia bluebells planted last spring are still too small to bloom, but I brought some nice, big ones back from my daughter's garden last weekend. Too bad it was so hot this week - I had to cut back some of the foliage and all the blooms because they couldn't handle the heat and wind. I brought back a couple of trout lilies too. Her garden is a native gardener's paradise, and I get to take whatever I want to transplant here. I feel like a kid in a candy shop!

Corner Gardener Sue said...

Hi Kylee,
I love all of your wildflowers. I have a small clump of the Virgina bluebells. I hope they look like yours in a couple of years.

MyMaracas said...

Lucky you! You have some wildflowers I have never seen - and I'm always looking for them. Nice set of photos.

Marsha Neal Studio said...

I too had always wanted Jack In The Pulpit's for my garden. I had seen some being offered through a local native plant sale for around $50. Needless to say, I decided to admire them in photographs...
Then when we moved into our current house I took a stroll in the woods on our property next to my garden and found that there must be hundreds dispersed throughout the area... Talk about feeling elated! So now every spring I get to go walk through and peek at all these little woodland gems... now if only I could grow some trilliums...

PlantingOaks said...

If you want to share jack in the pulpits, the best way is to share the 'jacks'. They turn red and ripe with berries in the fall, then the plant goes dormant and they fall to the ground. Pick them up and put them where you want more.

Of course, all caveats about not stealing other people's wildflowers apply, but it's a better alternative to digging them up. My mother has some woodland with lots of native flowers, and she's been quite successful spreading what started as a small patch of jacks all over the yard.

keewee said...

You have several lovely plants I would like to have in my garden, especially the trout lilly. I will have to check out the garden center to see if they have any.

Melody said...

Beautiful wildflowers. I should have more wildflowers since I live in the woods but I don't even find many growing around us.

frazzledsugarplummum said...

Just beautiful....thanks for sharing.

nancybond said...

I can't believe all the wonderful blooms you have already, Kylee!

Never in my five years of gardening have I experienced such an explosion of growth and blooming as we're having this spring.

I think everyone is saying the same thing. We're certainly a good 2-3 weeks ahead of other years here in NS, despite the cold, rainy weather we've had the past few days. The only wildflower I've seen blooming profusely here are the dandelions, and I even welcome their sunny little faces. :)

Msrobin said...

It's good to know that I'm not the only one who has trouble getting Jacob's Ladder through the winter. I do want a variegated one this year, do they do any better? Gorgeous close-up photo of the bluebells!

Kylee from Our Little Acre said...

Linda ~ That warm wind was awful, wasn't it? It really damaged some of the blooms around here, too. Lucky you, that your daughter has so many natives!

Sue ~ I'll bet they will! Mine have really amazed me with how quickly they multiplied.

MyMaracas ~ Thank you! I'm always on the lookout for more wildflowers, too. There's something so pure and innocent about them, isn't there?

Marsha ~ Some Jack-in-the-Pulpits can be VERY expensive. How lucky for you that you have as many as you want now! I've only encountered just that one in the wild. Now trilliums...we've got hundreds of the toadshade ones in our woods. Have you tried growing them?

That's how I grew these in the picture, as I said. My mom gave me the seeds and I wintersowed them, then planted the seedlings where they are now.
The first ones I bought from a nursery. Those aren't up yet, though.
The woods that we frequent near our house is slowly being destroyed. Every time we walk down there, it seems more trees have been taken down. This is major farm country, so trees get in the way sometimes. :-(

keewee ~ Trout lilies grow by the hundreds in our woods around here! I've read that it takes seven years for a seedling to bloom!

Melody ~ There are some woods around here that don't have many wildflowers growing in them either. It does depend on when you look for them, because by June, they've all gone into hiding until next spring!

frazzledsugarplummum ~ My pleasure!

Nancy ~ Dandelions make me smile when I see a whole yard full of them, as long as it isn't my yard!

Robin ~ I've tried the variegated ones, too ('Brise d'Anjou' and 'Stairway to Heaven'), and they seem to be even harder for me to even keep alive, let alone get them through winter. I'm so happy to have the native ones. They're happy, too. :-)

Lynn said...

Lucky you to have all that blooming at home! I've been able to see many of these blooming in the woods near us or at the wildflower garden at Cornell. The bluebells especially are charming.

Michele said...

I beg of you, get rid of the Lesser Celandine while you can. We live near woodlands with a lovely stream. Over the years the lesser Celandine has grown a thick carpet covering the ground of the woodland area and has choked out all the natural flowers and plants native to the area. The lesser celandine is now spreading into my yard and invading my lawn and flower beds and I can't get rid of it. This invasive plant grows like a thick carpet and chokes out everything in it's path...even my grass. Even if I tried to get rid of it (which I have) it just keeps spreading up from the woods & stream every year.

You have such pretty natural native plants. Don't even mess with having this plant. you may think it is not invasive right now but let me tell you this thing spreads quick and once it does there is no going back.

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