Something New in Number Two!

Every Spring, the Cherokee Indians would trek up the mountains to reach the fields of white. Not snow but Spring Beauties! As far up the slope as eyes could see were millions of blooming little white flowers no more than four inches high. Each blossom would be streaked with pink or lavender emanating from a yellow center. It was not the blossom that brough the Native American, but the undergroud rhizomes which could be baked similar to a potato. Here is my number two wildflower – The Spring Beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) and it explodes over the hills and valleys of the Southern Appalachians in the middle of March – a true harbinger of Spring!

Six petals, sometimes five, and a blossom no more than an inch across with five or six pink double anthers.
A carpet of Spring Beauties. They will disappear in several weeks and sleep until next Spring.
Each Claytonia has only two slender leaves/
Erigenia bulbosa.jpg
Lost in the field of Beauties is a Harbinger of Spring wildflower.

Three companion wildflowers found in mid-March are The Harbinger of Spring (above), the Toothwart, and one of my favorites – the Hepatica.

The Toothwort which is easily missed as the blossoms are small and face downward.
The Hepatica can be blue, purple, or white and after April 1st, it will be a rare sight.

Many homeowners in the Southeast find Spring Beauties in their front yards in March and the seeds can be harvested and sown in rich soil and as a perennial, it will provide years of Spring heralding blossoms


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