Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Spring wildflowers

It's spring wildflower time in the Eastern U.S.

In our (relatively undisturbed) woodlands (rich cove forests, acidic cove forests, oak-hickory forests, alluvial forests, and others), spring empherals are striking this time of year from late February through May.

It's a peak time in the Woodland Wildflower Garden (at the South Carolina Botanical Garden, where I work).  It's a lovely tapestry of Trillium spp., Hexastylis spp. (wild ginger), Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple), foam flower (Tiarella cordifolia), a variety of ferns, and Atamasco lily.

Cinnamon fern (Osmunda cinnamomea)


  1. Lisa, what is a "cove" forest?

  2. Jean,
    Cove forests are (literally) forest communities found in the coves (or valleys) in the Southern Appalachians and foothills of the Blue Ridge (part of the Southern Appalachians).

    They're rich in spring emphemeral wildflowers (which flower before the trees fully leaf out) -- quite wonderful plant communities!


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