This is party time in the forest! Many woodland plants are pushing up through the dry brown leaves to celebrate in blooms before the trees leaf out. As always, nature is fascinating – many wildflowers take advantage of the full sun exposure available only before the trees have their green, leafy canopy. Three such wildflowers are trilliums, dog tooth violets and bloodroot. Trilliums, also called wakerobins, come in white and red versions, and are our Ontario flower. A forest floor turns majestic when blanketed with brilliant trillium blooms reflecting the sun. They transform a forest from crunchy brown to festive, frothy white. Dog tooth violets are also called trout lily, adder’s tongue, or their Latin name is erythronium. Their leaves are mottled purple and green, coordinating with the purple on the backside of their nodding, golden blooms. As a child, these blooms always signaled spring had arrived. Bloodroot (sanguinaria) starts with well furled leaves sneaking up a sturdy stem bearing a perky white, starry flower. The scalloped leaves spread into lovely little platters as the flowers wither. Many greenhouses now carry these native woodland harbingers of spring – just mind that they prefer well drained soil rich in organic matter like they would have in the forest, and they almost disappear as you move into summer.
Note – these photos are taken in a tract of the Durham Forest just at the end of my road.