Sunday, May 22, 2011

Daffodils and Wildflowers

You may remember last autumn I wrote about digging up the daffodil bulbs at the front of the house and then replanting them at the back along the edge of the woods.  It was a huge success.   
Daffodils at the edge of the woods on a southeast facing hill.  I love how the late afternoon sun shines through the still-bare branches of the trees to illuminate the blossoms from behind.
View from the woods toward our neighbors' house a week or so after the previous photo.

View toward "The Grove", a large house owned by Assisi Heights Convent.
 I had dug up about 8 bushells of bulbs from the front to move to the back.  I though I had recovered at least 80% of them, but look at was is left in the front!  I think I will let them stay where they are.  :-)  I seem to have plenty at the edge of the woods.
Lots of bulbs were still in the bed at the front of the house.  They are such a welcomed sight in early spring.
The bumblebees were all over them.
They just glow in the spring sunshine.
There have been lots of wildflowers out, too. I was too late to catch the bloodroot flower. 
The lovely single leaf of the bloodroot plant, one of my favorite wildflowers.
Last spring I looked high and low for trout lilies in bloom, but did not find a single flower.  I did find a seed head late in the fall, but that was it.  This spring I found quite a few with flowers. 
These are the white trout lilies.  They also come in yellow.
These lilies mostly propagate vegetatively. The first year plants have a single leaf. Older plants have 2 leaves and may flower.
If you look in the background, you can see that the forest floor is almost a uniform carpet of trout lilies.


Mixed in with the trout lilies are loads of blue violets.
The ramps are doing well.  Unlike their European relative, rampsons, they will not flower until after the leaves have died back.

Some of the jack-in-the-pulpits have a dark spathe that surrounds the spadix, and others have green spathes.  Not sure what the difference is.
These early woodland wildflowers emerge long before the trees begin to leaf out. They get in almost an entire year's worth of growth in the weeks before they get shaded by the trees. Their foliage often dies back even though flowers and seed heads develop and mature in the later months of summer. They rely on energy stored in corms, bulbs, and roots.


This photo of the jack-in-the-pulpit is from 2008.  It shows the very colorful developing seeds and exposed surface of the spadix where the seeds have fallen off.
Amazingly beautiful, isn't it? 

9 comments:

  1. A beautiful display of daffs. Those alongside the trees look as though they have been there for years.
    The Trout Lily (Dog's Tooth Violet seems to be the name used over here) looks a pretty little plant.

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  2. Nothing beats a good show of Daffs Wilma.
    Great idea to relocate them there.

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  3. That's a stunning display of Daffodils Wilma.
    There must be hundreds there.

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  4. John - the white trout lily is Erythronium albidum and the dog's tooth violet you mention is Erythronium dens-canis. Turns out that the former is North American and the latter is European. To further confuse matters - there are actual violets (Viola spp.)in one photo. These blue violets are not to be confused with the pornographic actress known as Violet Blue. ;-) ain't Wikipedia great?

    Roy -- glad you approve. :-)

    Keith -- thousands is more like it; more daffodil bulbs than I have ever seen in my life, especially as I was faced with replanting them all ...

    cheers,
    Wilma

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  5. Hi Wilma.
    Love the look of a good northern hemisphere forest glade with bulbs underneath.
    Soon I expect to find a Greenhood Orchid which resembles the shape of your "Jack in the pulpit" flower (not the seeds).
    When I find it, I will cross-link to this story.
    Cheers
    Denis

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  6. All that hard work last autumn was definitely worth the effort Wilma .... stunning display.

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  7. Denis - I look forward to seeing your Greenhood Orchid for comparison. Your photos of the tiny orchids are such a pleasure to view.

    Frank - thank you. It's nice to have the blog to share it on.

    cheers,
    Wilma

    Not even my own blog will let me sign in!

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  8. Yes totally amazingly beautiful that you get so much colors why we were getting ash ;-) Beautiful set of pictures Wilma.

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  9. Nearly missed this! I love daffs, they are my favourite garden flower. My goodness you worked hard!! The results justified your efforts though... really beautiful :)

    Your jack-in-the-pulpit must be related to our Lords and Ladies also known as Cuckoo Pint.

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