FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
– A University of Illinois Extension horticulture educator said that spring
walks are very enjoyable.
February 11, 2013
of us look for morel mushrooms, but there is much more to see at the same
time," said Rhonda Ferree. "Woodland wildflowers are beautiful and a welcome
sign of spring."
common woodland wildflower is the spring beauty (Claytonia virginica). This is
a low plant with loose clusters of pink or whitish flowers striped with dark
pink. The flowers are one-half to three-fourths of an inch wide with five
petals. Leaves are long, linear, and grass-like. These flowers bloom from March
to May in moist woods and clearings. This spring perennial is spectacular in
large patches and grows from a potato-like underground tuber.
former residence near Champaign, I had beautiful large patches of these across
the lawn," she said.
noticeable native wildflower is Virginia bluebell (Mertensia virginica). This
8- to 24-inch erect plant has smooth gray-green leaves and nodding clusters of
light blue trumpet-shaped flowers. The individual flowers start as pink buds
and open to about 1 inch long. Virginia bluebells flower from March to June in
moist woods, and it is also a popular shade garden plant. Grown in masses, this
flower is hard to miss.
are several flowers from the poppy family that have spectacular spring
showings: Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), Corydalis (Corydalis sp.),
and bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis).
breeches and Corydalis have delicate, fern-like leaves and grow to about a foot
tall," she said. "Dutchman's breeches are more common. The name comes from the
clusters of fragrant, white, pantaloon-shaped flowers.
flowers are pink or yellow, tubular, and must be appreciated up close. Bloodroot
has a solitary white flower, with a golden-orange center that grows beside a
lobed leaf. Roots and stems have an acrid red-orange juice, thus the name
bloodroot. Flowers last for a very short time and may be hard to find after
more woodland flowers you are sure to see are wild blue phlox and wild
geranium. Wild blue phlox (Phlox divaricata) has loose clusters of slightly
fragrant light blue flowers above creeping oval leaves. Also called wild sweet
william, it will bloom from April to June.
remember seeing these as a child while walking Central Illinois woods with my
dad," Ferree said.
geranium (Geranium maculatum) is easily recognized by its typical geranium
leaves and loose clusters of lavender flowers. It grows 1 to 2 feet tall and is
found from April to June.
are just a few of the flowers to look for while exploring our woodlands this
spring. Take lots of pictures, but please leave the wildflowers," she said.
"Although the ones mentioned here are numerous, some of our wildflowers are
becoming rare. Leaving them ensures that they'll remain for others to see in
of these wildflowers and more are on Ferree's Facebook page at
www.facebook.com/ferree.horticulture. For more information on this or other
horticultural issues, contact U of I Extension at www.extension.illinois.edu.
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source/writer: Rhonda J. Ferree, 309-543-3308, firstname.lastname@example.org