Odd weather we’ve had this winter. Unusually cold on average, but with unusually warm days. Plants are emerging and budding up and some are blooming already, as I reported in the last post. Anyway, here’s more of what we can look forward to in the next month or so.
Jeffersonia diphylla (twinleaf; Berberidaceae)
I usually see these plants in large stands, and all the plants in a stand seem to flower at the same time, but the flowers only last a few days. I’m going to start watching for them in mid-March this year.
Packera aurea (golden ragwort; Asteraceae)
This is the same species I posted a picture of on Wednesday, with the purple buds. Such a perky thing. The first species in the Asteraceae to bloom ’round here.
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot; Papaveraceae)
Since bloodroot grows from rhizomes, when there’s more than one plant they’re often in a line.
Erythronium americanum (trout lily; Liliaceae)
Erythronium albidum (white trout lily; Liliaceae)
Trillium sessile (toadshade; Liliaceae)
Honestly my love for this plant comes from that common name. This is peak bloom; the flower petals don’t spread open. Yellow flowering forms can be found near Carderock.
Stellaria pubera (star chickweed; Caryophyllaceae)
It’s all about those stamens. And fun fact: each flower has five petals. The petals are so deeply cleft that a single petal appears to be two petals.
Thalictrum thalictroides (rue anemone; Ranunculaceae)
In botanical Latin the suffix “-oides” means “resembling”. So this species is “Thalictrum that looks like Thalictrum”. Thalictrum is “from thaliktron, a name used to describe a plant with divided leaves”.*
Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells; Boraginaceae)
These will be carpeting floodplains and other very moist-soil areas in less than a month.
Phlox divaricata (wild blue phlox; Polemoniaceae)
Wild blue phlox starts blooming at about the same time as Virginia bluebells, but they last longer. It’s a glorious sight when these two and golden ragwort fill the woods.
*California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations
A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology
Compiled by Michael L. Charters
Those Virginia bluebells and phlox are rad! The bluebells are the color of forget-me-not! We have lupine here, which are also a nice blue, but I tend to take them for granted.
That’s not a coincidence! Bluebells and forget-me-nots are in the same family. I call that color borage blue. (https://elizabethswildflowerblog.com/2016/07/07/that-beautiful-borage-blue/ ) It is gorgeous. I’ve written a lot about that family since I keep finding those neat flowers in the desert.