Friday, March 19, 2010

Wildflowers, part I

This spring and early summer, I've decided to chronologically post some of my ongoing documentation of all the botanical species in the woods. Here are the ones which are currently in bloom.

With the help of a botanically-minded friend who narrowed this specimen down to the Mustard Family Brassicaceae, I've finally identified this ubiquitous weed to be Arabidopsis thalania, or mouse-ear cress. For years I've wondered what it was. It always bothers me when no one bothers to mention the commonest plants of all. This is a true weed, native to Eurasia.
These "lawn violets" are Viola tricolor, smaller than my smallest fingernail, and sprinkled delicately through the grass like something out of Lothl├│rien.
I have at least two types of chickweed growing in the lawn. This one is Stellaria media, another non-native species. It is distinguishable from mouse-ear chickweed by its less fuzzy stem and leaves, and its petals, which are so deeply divided that they seem almost separate.
The maples are budding! Acer rubrum is the commonly seen red maple, but come to think of it, the one in the foreground of this picture might be an ornamental. I'll have to double-check.

I looked around in the woods for a while to see if anything was up- I expected the ferns to have fiddle-heads already, but I suppose they're late this year on account of all the snow. The cleavers are sprouting already. I was glad to find a few patches of orchids in sheltered places. I need to be careful of poison ivy, though.

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