Friday, April 6, 2012

Small wonders

Houstonia serpyllifolia, not Forget-me-nots
 
In a recent newsletter, the folks at Gardens of the BlueRidge report the very warm winter has caused most of their plants to go into a tizzy. Apparently many species are flowering up to three weeks early and because of the warmth, the bloom period has been very short.

Their Bloodroot and Virginia Bluebells have come and gone. The Trilliums appeared early and were quickly devoured by grateful deer. Aside from the Toad Trillium (which apparently Bambi doesn’t care for), all other varieties for 2012 are gone.

This was all very interesting because I had no clue what to expect or when. This will be my first spring in the mountains so I wasn't sure when most of our native wildflowers bloom. Every day has been a treat because there is always something new popping up.

In an earlier posting I wrote about stumbling across the Halberd-leaf Yellow Violet. Since then I’ve discovered we have bunches of them all over the property – I’ll certainly recognize the distinctive leaves next spring.

Don't know the name, but it's pretty.
I’ve also found two other tiny violets, a white one no wider than ¼ of an inch. The other is a bit bigger with purple markings, but I can’t find it in any of my wildflower books.

Another wonderful discovery was a swath of Forget-me-nots growing down by the stream. This native New Zealand flower of the genus Mycostis sylvatica is regarded as a symbol of remembrance, love, constancy and undying hope.

Upon further review, the jaunty blue flowers aren’t forget-me-nots at all, but Bluets, a member of the Madder family. They are sometimes called “Innocence” or “Quaker ladies” because the flower shape resembles a Quaker lady’s hat. They can grow in open grassy areas, woodlands and along streams.

No matter what you call them, these delicate blooms are a welcome addition to my garden.

And with so many new wildflowers making their appearance this time of year, I can’t wait to see what’s out in the woods tomorrow.

3 comments :

Les said...

See if your mystery violet might be Viola sororia priceana or Confederate Violet.

The Principal Undergardener said...

Just read the updated 'About Me'. Marvelous!

The Dirt Diaries said...

As always, Les Parks is exactly right about my mystery wildflower. It is a Confederate Violet. Thanks Les!

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