My recent posts have been all about spring flowering bulbs and perennials to enjoy in gardens at this season, but we should not overlook other delights provided by nature. If you know where to look you can find several wildflowers with blooms as attractive as many cultivated varieties. This article by Carolyn Black which I found on The Master Gardeners website describes three that she has found recently.
Springtime is a wonderful time of the year to enjoy the surprises of nature. One of my favorite activities is to take a walk and look for spring wildflowers poking up from their winter nap. Three beautiful wildflowers that I have observed are Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis), Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra Cucullaria), and Spring Beauty (Claytonia Virginica.) They can be detected in woodland areas and they have been observed at the beautiful Gettysburg National Military Park. It is important to note that the wildflowers in the National Parks should never be removed because they are protected by federal law to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic beauty of the environment.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria Canadensis) is a stunning, perennial wildflower found in the woodlands of Pennsylvania. It is derived from the Papaveraceae (Poppy). It is becoming a popular flower for shade gardens because of its exquisite beauty. A thick six to eight inch stem pushes out of the ground in March, revealing a single leaf tightly rolled around a large flower bud. When it unfurls, the light green leaf is four to eight inches wide and generally rounded in shape but with an irregular margin and wavy edges. The foliage remains attractive until the entire plant disappears in late summer. Its name comes from the blood-red sap, which was once used as a respiratory aid by Native Americans and the blood of the root was used as a dye. The flowers of the bloodroot plant are pollinated by small bees.
See more at The Master Gardeners