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Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Natives

Spring is fleeting. Indeed, these native wonders have actually already passed and are busy now making seed before they slip away. I've often wondered why the Dogtooth violet (Erythronium americanum) is so named. This particular yellow beauty is a cultivar named "Pagoda." I try to only obtain plants which have not been collected from the wild, but come from reputable nurseries.

Like so many of my plants, I brought this down from my garden in Connecticut. I wonder if any of them survived the new people there? Probably not. My neighbors tell me that it is gone, but since this was in a shady border there, there may still be hope.

At any rate, they seem to like it here and have been wandering even though this is only the 5th year they've been in. Another name for them is trout lily, although what we called trout lily has smaller, speckled leaves.



Ephemeral spring. Certainly here in south west Ohio that is the case. It seems like we go from having snow on the ground and very cold temperatures to several days in the 60s and 70s....and this spring, even into the 80s.

Another native, the pristine white of the bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is another of my beloved spring natives. When it first pops up, it is closely wrapped in it's leaf. If you think the broad green leaf to the right of the flower belongs to this white beauty...think again. Look just beyond the flower and you can see the edge of the lobed leaf. The leaf will wrap around the flower to protect it should the weather turn cold. If you dig the plant and cut the root, it exudes a red sap, from where it gets its name.

Just a short one..I'm working madly on the garden and a couple of quilts, but I wanted to keep in the practice.

3 comments:

Jessica said...

Hey I just took photos of Trillium and Trout Lily blooming LOL They will be up on my blog sometime in the next week. I have found myself behind again.

Shady Character said...

I love the natives! I'm going to take a stab at the name of Dogtooth Violet. I bought some bulbs several years ago and noticed that they are pale and sort of conical/curved like a dog's tooth. Maybe that's how they got their name. Thanks for sharing them with us. My Erythroniums have never bloomed.

Michigoose said...

Oh Shady, I think you're right! I've forgotten as I planted them so long ago...I think I put the original corms in about 1991... Did you get leaves on your dogtooths? or did they never come up at all? If you have leaves, you may have them too deep, unless of course, it has been less than 3 years since you planted them. If they never came up, then do try again as you may have gotten old or damaged corms. Some of the nurseries here carry them in pots which might be a good thing to try so you know you've got it at the depth and that they are viable. Look too at the various gardens and nature centers. This Sat. is our Cox Garden native plant sale. Once you get them, and they are happy, they spread. I was surprised as these have spread more than in CT. Maybe the seed blows in the unceasing wind, but they have wound up further away and I have to say in a direction that the wind doesn't ordinarily drift.

Jessica: I don't have trilliums here...I haven't started any. Trilliums, Mayapple, Jack-in-the-pulpit and wild ginger (the native kind, not the Chinese variety) were all planted in the same patch in Connecticut. I don't know if the soil here would do well with them. The nature centers all have trillium, but it is in established woodland...here I have full, blazing unrelenting sun with very little organic matter in my soil...in fact, in my raised beds which I amended, my hoe hit the top and bounced off yesterday it is so hard. I'm going to have to get into the boxes and dig. :(