Sunday, May 4, 2014

2014 Spring Ephemerals

Spring ephemerals are wildflowers that bloom (in Minnesota) in late April, or (during this cold spring) early May. These plants take advantage of the sunlight let onto the forest floor by the leafless trees. After the advent of the foliage, the ephemerals are gone. On Saturday, our second sunny day, we noticed Bloodroot blooming in the backyard. We hiked in the western sector of the Cannon Valley Wilderness area and found six species of spring ephemerals. I have linked each name with past posts.
Oddly, I do not seem to have a previous post on Wood Anemone, the last photo in this series. This is a poisonous wildflower, especially when consumed in quantity. Symptoms "include inflammation and blistering upon contact with freshsap and irritation of the mouth, vomiting and diarrhea following ingestion” (Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center). As an ephemeral, the species blooms in the early spring. Our species, Anemone quinquefolia, is closely related to the European Wood Anemone, Anemone nemorosa. Both flowers are in the buttercup family.

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