April 29, 2009

Wisconsin Spring Wildflowers

Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) show up before the trees have leaves and are sometimes referred to as umbrella plants because they resemble a closed umbrella when first pushing through the leaves, like the one in the photo below. The plant will eventually open into an open umbrella and be about 2' tall. We have them growing in the areas of our yard that have been left natural. More about them in a couple weeks.

On a walk through our neighborhood, I saw colonies of blooming Trout Lily (Erythonium americanum). The name comes from from the spotted pattern on the leaves which looks a lot like the pattern on a Trout, the fish. Other common names are Dogtooth Violet and Yellow Snowdrop. The petals only open wide and curve back like the one in the second photo when the day is warm and bright. I know, it's hard to believe that we had a day like that.

At first I thought these were Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum) but now I think they're False Rue Anemone (Isopyrum biternatum) because Wild Geranium flowers are generally lavendar. I should have looked at the leaves more carefully. Indians made tea from the roots for medicinal purposes. The plants are dormant during the summer.

According to one of my wildflower identification books, this looks to be Flowering Spurge (Euphorbia corollata). The flowers are white and the leaves are linear, without teeth and smooth. I need to take my book along when walking in the woods or take better photos for identification purposes.

I do so love the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris). They are one of the first wild flowers to bloom in the spring and are seen growing in wooded swamps, wetlands, near creeks and other places where they get a lot of moisture. The flowers are a very bright yellow and are easily seen when driving down a country road. These plants were growing close to a creek in a lowland area.

Although certainly not a wildflower, this Forsythia growing in my neighbor's yard deserved to have its picture taken. We don't have as many pretty blooming Forsythia as they do south of here so when I see one like this, I stop and enjoy the beauty.

My Anemones are blooming now but because of the wind I wasn't able to get a good photo, except for this one bloom who was willing to cooperate and stand still.

Can you stand one more Daffodil photo? I took this picture because of how the moss looks in front of the Tete-a-Tete. The colors are a little washed out because of the sun. We'll be doing mulch soon and the moss won't be seen for a while.


  1. You are just a wealth of information about plants. I love that since it's an area that I am completely ignorant in. Keep on teaching me.

  2. I loved finding mayapples on hikes in the forest when I was a kid. And there was a purple flower with an interesting center, similar to anemone, but that isn't the name that comes to mind, that grew in a vacant lot. It thought it was a the most beautiful thing. It was rather vine y with leaves like a dandelion as I recall. What were those? Thanks for the wonderful photos. I want to go on a wildflower hike they offer in Bernheim Forest!

  3. Lindalou, I've gardened long enough to have retained a few facts and I have a lot of gardening books. This is my first time commenting on my own blog.

  4. ArtCricket2, I bet you had a sketch pad with you when you hiked in the woods as a kid. Can't think what the viney plant/purple flower would be. Let me know, if you remember. I'll be looking for a future post about Bernheim Forest on your blog.

  5. Lovely wild flowers you are seeing right now.

    Always Growing

  6. Hey Donna, thank you so much for leading me to your trout lilies. I loved the whole posting! I'm especially interested in future may apple pics. I love the name but don't know the plant at all. I wonder if they are around here.


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