An abundance of spring wildflowers is the reward for extended cool, wet weather. On the last two Sundays I saw one new-to-me plant and more plentiful familiar wildflowers along trails that I’ve regularly hiked for several years.
Travel along a Maryland Piedmont trail — and click on each photo for a closer look.
I found a colony of dainty Bellwort Perfoliate (Uvularia perfoliata) along a ridge trail. While I recognized it as part of the Lily family, Bellworts were unfamiliar to me. This is one of three Bellworts found in Maryland, with the largest found only in the mountains.
Common blue violets are everywhere along the trails and also a carpet of tiny White Sweet Violets (Viola blanca), less than two-thirds the size of a common violet.
In a dry meadow clearing, Wood Sorrel (Oxalis violacea) is emerging from beneath last year’s grasses and stubble. Notice the shamrock-shaped leaves.
Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) lines the wooded trails.
The Trillium and Trout Lily can be found in the stream valley, if your timing is good. Ephemerals, they bloom and disappear without a trace until the next year. The Trout Lilies (Erythonium americanum) appeared for just a week.
Trillium grandiflorum hardly needs a common name. As showy as it is, most hikers never notice it growing near the stream bank unless pointed out.
My favorite Trillium is the Yellow Trillium (Trillium luteum). It deserves two photos.
Last year I recall seeing one Dwarf Ginseng (Panax trifolius) plant. This year it is plentiful near the stream. Dwarf Ginseng does not share the medicinal properties that have led to the over-harvesting and threatened status of American Ginseng.
I was thrilled to see a proliferation of my favorite native azalea — Pinxterbloom — growing in an area that was clear-cut and replanted some years ago as a result of the gypsy moth invasion. Pinxterbloom (Rhododendron periclymenoides) is as pretty as its common name is charming.
A couple very good spring walks in the woods.