The woods are yielding the first flowers of spring. These wildflowers bloom fleetingly, before the trees leaf out, while the sunshine can still reach the forest floor.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis) is becoming more plentiful. I’ve seen patches along several Piedmont trails.
The blooms of Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria ), tinted green when they first emerged, have brightened to a crisp white.
This delicate flower is a Toothwort, most likely a Cutleaf Toothwort (Dentaria laciniata), native to both Maryland’s Piedmont and Coastal Plain.
And, at last, Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica).
Mayapple, Showy orchis and Trillium have broken ground (see Mayapple foliage to the left of the Spring Beauty) and will be flowering soon!
A word about invasive plants: While searching out and photographing these native wildflowers, on this visit I made it a point to pull at least one invasive plant for each photo taken. I pulled a lot of garlic mustard! (As a trained Weed Warrior, I’m authorized to remove it from park land.) Garlic mustard not only crowds out wildflowers but also releases a chemical that interferes with the all-important fungus that trees and plants use to process nutrients through their roots. If you find garlic mustard (Alliaria petiolata) in your yard, pull it to help contain its spread.