Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Spring Ephemerals

Around my neck of the woods, this is the time of year to be on the lookout for spring ephemerals –plants that take advantage of the sunlight coming through the open canopy in the early spring.  Spring ephemerals are woodland, perennial plants that flower and set seed now, before the trees above them have fully leafed out.  In summer, the forest floor will be in deep shade, and the spring ephemerals will be “gone” - with just their underground portions remaining in wait until the following year.

This week I spotted Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) as I walked through the woods:

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria)

and skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus):

Skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus)

I also came across these spotted leaves that I suspect may be trout lily (Erythronium americanum).  I will keep watching them to see if they send up flowers:

And, I suspect this might be Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum):

Spring ephemerals are fleeting.  Enjoy looking for them in the woods,  and let me know what you find.

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