Posts Tagged ‘wild violets’


What a difference 12 days make at this time of year! Since the photographs of the May 7th post were taken, the woods have flushed with lush greenery. The canopy has filled in and the forest floor is deep in ferns. Everywhere, green.


One of the more readily identified ferns is the sensitive fern (Onoclea sensibilis), with its distinctive wavy-edged leaves. The name refers to this fern’s sensitivity to frost. In good conditions, rich, moist soil in sun or part shade, the sensitive fern is a rapid spreader. It can be used as a groundcover in a naturalized garden.


There were still a few clumps of violets (Viola sp). While they were newly emerged and fresh at the beginning of May, there are now just a few patches left.


There were a few patches of foamflower (Tiarella cordifolia) putting on a show. The tiny star-like flowers are held above maple-like leaves, rather like Coral Bells (Heuchera spp). In recent years, some attention has been devoted to developing garden hybrids of this native woodland plant. New hybrids have been selected mainly for their interesting leaves.

Fortunately, there was a stiff breeze to help keep down the numbers of another spring arrival: blackflies!


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I took a walk down to the woods to see how the season is unfolding. The trees are mostly not out in leaf yet, so the forest canopy is still open and bright. A few of the trees, such as aspens (Populus spp) are a bit ahead of the others.


This forest has so far offered a limited display of wildflowers. I did see a few red trilliums (Trillium sp).


There were quite a few clumps of wild violets (Viola sp).


But the most eyecatching growth was ferns. Everywhere throughout the damp forest floor, the fiddleheads of a number of fern species were springing up from the ground. Fuzzy stemmed, red stemmed, and more, I’m not familiar enough with ferns to put names to the new plants. Learning more about fern species will be a summer project.




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