Still no time to write anything substantial. Here are some yellow flowers, now (or recently) blooming in the Maryland piedmont.
a yellow haze of spicebush flowers (Lindera benzoin; Lauraceae)
another flowering shrub, leatherwood (Dirca palustris; Thymelaeaceae), S2/threatened in Maryland
trout lilies (Erythronium americanum; Liliaceae) will be blooming for another week or so in the Potomac gorge
Corydalis flavula (short-spurred corydalis or yellow fumewort; Papaveraceae)
one very early sessile bellwort (Uvularia sessilifolia; Liliaceae); watch for more in the next week or so in the gorge, maybe a week after that further north and west in the piedmont
masses of golden ragwort (Packera aurea; Asteraceae) are blooming now along the Potomac; watch for them on the eastern part of Billy Goat C
smooth yellow violet, aka yellow forest violet (Viola pubescens var. scabriuscula; Violaceae)
I had a quick look around the Carderock area on Friday (March 29), and saw the following plants blooming or budding. Also had fun taking closeup shots.
Arabidopsis lyrata (lyre-leaved rockcress): a few flowers –>
Boechera laevigata (smooth rockcress): buds
Cardamine angustifolia (slender toothwort): buds
<–Cardamine concatenata (cut-leaf toothwort): flowers
Claytonia virginica (spring beauty): lots of flowers
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s breeches): a lot of buds, a few flowers
Dirca palustris (leatherwood): full bloom –>
<–Erythronium americanum (trout lily): gobs of leaves; 5 flowers
Lindera benzoin (spicebush): flowers
Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells): lots of buds, just a few open flowers –>
<–Micranthes virginiensis (early saxifrage): full bloom
The next few weeks should be spectacular.
Here are some of the showier spring ephemerals to watch for in the Potomac Gorge this week.
In the floodplain close to the river, Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginica; left) are approaching peak bloom. Mixed in with them in a few places are Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria; below right), which you might also find on moist, rocky outcroppings.
Trout lilies (Erythronium americanum; above left) like moist soils, too. Generally I see them in the transition areas between floodplain and slopes.
Further upslope are cut-leaf toothworts (Cardamine concatenata; left).
On drier slopes watch for scattered patches of bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis; below).
Look for twinleaf (Jeffersonia diphylla; below) in moist, rocky areas. They like limestone soils, so aren’t as widespread as these other species, but where they do grow they they tend to grow en masse.
Spring beauties (Claytonia virginica; below) are just about everywhere.