Now that spring has finally arrived, the leaves have returned to the trees and flowers to the ground! It’s the perfect time to get out into the arboretum and look around for spring wildflowers. Here are some things to look for when exploring:
White Trout Lily – Found in upland forest in the arboretum, this single white flower (featured in the photo) emerges from two smooth elliptical leaves to a height of about 5 inches. Its 6 white petals curve up and behind the center of the flower and are typically tinged with purple.
Early Blue Violet – Growing in meadows and dry woods, you can recognize this little blue-violet flower from its irregular petal orientation, two lateral petals and two upward curling petals attached to a larger lower petal with blue veins radiating from the white center of the flower. There are typically one to three of these flowers per stem that rise above heart-shaped leaves (slightly rough or ‘scalloped’ edges) that extend all along the length of the stalk.
Nodding Trillium – Just appearing to bloom in the upland forests, these single white flowers have a base of three broad and smooth leaves. With six petals that curve sharply upward, the flower hangs down at the end of its stem similarly to the lily.
Creeping Charlie (nonnative) – A common garden and lawn weed, these little purple flowers (also known as ground ivy) cover shaded ground throughout the arboretum in mat-like growths. Their leaves are ‘kidney’ shaped with scalloped edges, and there are typically 2 to 4 flowers per stem.
These are just four wildflowers that have been spotted in the past week but there are many more to be found! Feel free to stop by the arboretum office and look through the wildflower guide-books or check out the arboretum webpage for the full list of arboretum flora. Happy hunting!