Every year on my birthday, I reflect through writing on the year and years past.  This year, I decided to take that writing right here, ...

Spring Plant Walk: Violets, Chickweed, Trillium, Pawpaw, Spicebush, Toothwort

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Every year on my birthday, I reflect through writing on the year and years past.  This year, I decided to take that writing right here, to the blog.  This also helps me continue on the mission I started last year, my life's purpose: to educate about nature.  This mission became more clear after reading "Last Child in the Woods."  In the book, the author shares the idea that people are not likely to protect what they cannot name.  Once people can name a plant or animal, they start to recognize it, see it's beauty and connect with it, and they are more likely to conserve it.

Last year was full of botanizing (or going hunting for new plants to id and learn about).  I make resolutions on my birthday instead of at the new year; one of this year's resolutions is to get out into the woods even more.  It's been working out pretty good so far and I've already seen some new-to-me plants.

Here's some spring ephemerals (flowering plants that are only around for a short time in the spring) and other goodies that I've seen recently and may be new to you.

Buckeye (Aesculus spp.)

Chickweed (Stellaria spp.)

Trillium


Harbinger of Spring (Erigenia bulbosa)


Pawpaw (Asimina triloba)
So cool, the paintbrush-like terminal bud of the pawpaw, that Audubon supposedly used for a paintbrush, and the round, fuzzy flower buds soon to turn a deep maroon when they open.

Yellow Spicebush (Lindera benzoin)
The bark smells like the spice it was substituted for by the pioneers, allspice.

Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata/Cardamine concatenata)
Blossoms of 2012 with their jagged narrow leaves and horseradish-flavored, tooth-shaped root.

Okay, now that you know what they are, get outside and find your own!  Just make sure you tell me about them.  Happy hunting!


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