Today’s pictures come from Jayne Spaulding, who sent in these photos of native wildflowers from the White Mountains of New Hampshire (Zone 4.) She writes,
“With four Nor’easters in the month of March, Spring here is slow in arriving this year. But anticipation is part of the fun in gardening for me!”
Sanguinaria canadensis (bloodroot, Zone 3 – 9) This little wildflower is common in woodlands over most of the eastern half of North America. These early flowers don’t produce any nectar, so they are pollenated mostly by mining bees in the genus Andrena, which collect the pollen to eat. The name blood root comes from the bright orange-red sap in the rhizomes that creep along underground.
Ribes glandulosa (skunk currant, Zone 3 – 8) This little shrub is primarily found in New England, where it forms these appealing masses of delicate foliage.
Flowers of Ribes glandulosa. These sweet little understated flowers are quite lovely, really. After blooming, these flowers will develop into ripe fruits that have a bad smell that gives this plant the common name of skunk currant. These fruit are edible, and according to some people, are even quite tasty if picked before they begin developing their typical skunky scent.
Erythronium americanum (dogtooth violet Zone 3 – 8) This little wildflower, often referred to as trout lily, is common in woodlands over most of eastern North America. As one of the first native wildflowers to come into bloom, it is a key food source for many native bees and other pollinators that have spent the winter hibernating and need a good meal as the weather warms.
Trillium erectum (red trillium, Zone 3 – 8) Called trillium, because all parts of this flower come in threes: Three leaves, three sepals, three petals. The name erectum comes from the fact that many plants of this species, as seen here, bloom on flowers that are held upright on erect stems over the leaves. Confusingly, however, in some areas, Trillium erectum has flowers that hang down below the leaves, and aren’t erect at all. In any case, this is always a dramatic, beautiful plant, with flowers of the darkest possible red.
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