Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Spring Wildflowers

Life in Christian County, Kentucky... More About Trees and Plants...

Virginia Bluebells - a Kentucky wildflower

Virginia Bluebells are blooming profusely along the banks of Little River and the little streams that are its tributaries. The moist soil and dappled shade of the river banks are perfect for them. The blooms in the photo above are on plants that are 18 to 24 inches tall. They are beautifully, strikingly blue.

Another flower along the riverside -- maybe Wild Pinks (?)

I'm fairly sure of the identification of this flower. It looks very similar in leaf and flower to the Wild Pink (Silene caroliniana var. wherryi) in my Guide to the Wildflowers and Ferns of Kentucky. The problem with that identification (according to my guide) is that Wild Pinks aren't supposed to grow in this part of Kentucky and they're not supposed to bloom until May. Also, these are purple, not pink. The USDA PLANTS website agrees that they don't grow in Christian County.

These might not have been wildflowers originally. They might have been planted as garden flowers and now they have gone wild because they like where they are living. They are growing on the riverbank behind a woven wire fence.

Just above the river

The little white flowers below are Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica,) I think, judging from their leaves, their flowers, and their habitat. If I am correct in my identification, it's a member of the purslane family and a relative of the moss rose.

Spring Beauties, on the riverbank


Anonymous said...

I think your "Wild Pinks" may be Wild Sweet William (phlox divaricata) We have lots of them growing in NE. Very fragrant, beautiful, and shade loving.

Genevieve said...

You may well be right. I was not confident of my identification! Thanks for your comment.

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