Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Flowers

So everyone on the bird listservs has been dedicated to pointing out the Turkey Vultures and blackbirds as signs of spring. However, these don't really signal spring for me. Rather, I really first feel spring as soon as I see my first Skunk Cabbage in bloom. I'll be sure to snap some photos of these delicious smelling coughliecough plants this spring as I don't seem to have any.

Yet, in honor of the recent rainstorm in south-eastern New Hampshire (when we were supposed to get snow) and in honor of my first migratory Red-winged Blackbirds, Rusty Blackbirds, Common Grackles, and Turkey Vultures of the year... I'll grace my blog with some photos of spring flowers... Yes, PLANTS!!! WOOHOOO! Who knows, maybe you'll spot one of these this spring and actually know what it is...

While they say "April showers bring May flowers", some of these are plants that can be found blooming before May depending on where you live.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

Bloodroot was historically used as a dye and herbal remedy for native americans. The dye comes from the red-ish sap that is particularly evident within the roots.

Snapdragon (Antirrhinum)

This is a common garden plant. While I like native wild plants best, I can't help but share this photo of this beautiful flower from Longwood Gardens.

Choke Cherry (Prunus virginica)

The bark of the roots of choke cherry were used by native Americans to treat sore throats, colds, fever, and stomach problems. The fruits from the plant can be used to make jam, syrup, and/or jelly. However, the fruit is quite bitter so be sure to add lots of sugar!

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)

This plant is also known as "Virginia cowslip", "Roanoke bells", and "lungwort oysterleaf". They are found wild in forests, wetlands, and bluffs. Additionally, they have been cultivated and are a common backyard plants. They are usually pollinated by butterflies and bloom early in the year from March to May and are usually dormant by early June!

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