Flower of the Day: Harbinger-of-Spring

Erigenia bulbosa; Apiaceae (carrot family)

harbinger-of-spring edited

I looked for this little flower last spring and never saw it.  Probably never would have if I hadn’t gotten a tip from the Natural Capital via the Maryland Native Plant Society.  Once I knew what it looks like from eye level I was able to find a second stand.

Harbinger-of-spring is a spring ephemeral in the Apiaceae.  It is listed as threatened in Pennsylvania and endangered in New York and Wisconsin.

The Apiaceae contains both edible species (carrot and many culinary herbs) and poisonous species (poison hemlock).  Most are herbaceous plants that range from tiny (like harbinger) to gigantic (hogweed, up to 14 feet tall).  Last year about six of over 200 species I found in the Carderock-Great Falls area were in this family.

ps for photography nerds: this photo was taken at ISO 100; f 8.0; 1/200 sec and is unedited except for cropping

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