New Spring Ephemerals!

Oh what a spring this has been! My appreciation for the spring ephemerals has reached an all time high.

“An ephemeral plant is one marked by short life cycles. The word ephemeral means transitory or quickly fading. The spring ephemeral, refers to perennial plants that emerge quickly in the spring and die back to their underground parts after a short growth and reproduction phase. ”

I have been on hike after hike looking for these amazing flowers and I was very excited to find some new ones on our property.

Cut-Leaved Toothwort

This little one is a member of the mustard family and gets its name from the tooth-like segments on its roots. The deeply lobed stem is another clear giveaway. The plant grows 8 to 15 inches tall. It is a woodland species commonly growing in rich soil with significant leaf litter. You have to be quick to catch a view of it. It blooms before the leaves are out on the trees and after about two weeks goes to seed. I was excited to find this plant growing along the road edge of the property, a place that I walk frequently.  We have such a large deer population and their path of destruction is larger than I anticipated. I need to find a place where the deer can’t go – finding steep embankments is my goal right now. If they can’t get to it they can’t eat it.

Toothwort

IMG_20170412_143701Super excited to find this one – a new one for me, anywhere! “It is found in moist woodlands usually in edge habitats and blooms from April to June. A member of the mustard family, it is typified by a four petal flower which blooms in a cluster on a single stalk above a single pair of toothed stem leaves each divided into three broad leaflets. After flowering, narrow seedpods appear just below the flower cluster. It grows approximately 30 cm (12 in) tall.”

I found this one tucked up next to a tree on a pretty steep, but short, embankment. The deer couldn’t get to it to step on it OR to eat it!

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