Ephemeral in The County

Trout Lily - Erythronium americanum - Trout Lily May 6 2018
Erythonium americanum – Trout Lily

On Saturday I noticed a few of these dainty yellow flowers opening by the driveway.  Come Sunday afternoon the leaf littered floor of the entire tree line was covered with Trout Lily.  Just like that.

Other native spring ephemerals just in bloom include a flower I used to call woodland Geranium.  I kinda knew it wasn’t, really, a Geranium, and what I learned from Micheal Raynor, one of the knowledgeable folks on the Facebook group Plant Identification, is its proper name:  Cardamine douglassii.  It’s also known as purple cress or limestone bittercress.  It’s a member of the mustard family (Brassicaeae) and is native to a wide swath of central and north east North America, growing in deciduous woodlands and in shady areas where limestone is close to the surface. It’s prefers a mist soil but has managed to gain a foothold in my dry woods.  It’s at risk from the wildly invasive Garlic Mustard in many wooded areas.

Cardamine douglassii May 6 2018
Cardamine douglassii

While the white Trillium are above ground they aren’t quite blooming.  Still putting on a show; however, is the lovely mottled leaves of this red wood Trillium.

red Trillium May 6 2018.jpg small

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