six on Saturday, 3 April 2021

This week’s six are all flowering plants that just come up where they will among the leaves and in the so-called lawn. The only credit I can take for them is that I don’t cut them down with the lawn tractor or the edger. But for the most part, they are bright-faced little plants and worthy of one Saturday’s post.

1. The first aguga, (Aguga reptans) is not a native wildflower, actually it is native primarily to Europe, Asia, and Africa, but it is certainly naturalized in the South and can even be considered invasive in some places. Its common names, however, broadcast its usefulness. Carpet bugle, or bugle weed, as a low growing perennial makes a good ground cover. I’m including it today because it provides lots of color throughout the garden and, as the featured photo shows, it welcomed the first honey bee I saw this spring. The usual shade is purplish blue, but I do have two small patches of a white variety growing along the driveway.

2. The second little plant is native to the southern United States, false garlic or Nothoscordum bivalve. Surprisingly, it does not have a garlic or onion smell. As for taste, note that it is also called crow poison, and consider this statement given about it at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, “Warning: This plant should not be eaten. Some references list this species as poisonous to humans. The jury is still out about its toxicity to crows.”

3. Just a few spring starflowers (Ipheion uniflorum) can be found in the wooded part of the garden. Now, they are related to onions, but other than that, I really don’t have much to say about them except that they are native to South America and will grow in North America to Zone 5. They have also been grown in the UK since 1820. I should add as well that their coloring is as delicate as their flowers.

4. A few weeks ago, I think I mentioned the first bluets (Houstonia) to bloom. Since that time they have appeared just about everywhere. They especially dot the edge of the lawn near the wooded area along with some violets and aguga. Soon wild daisies should begin to grow here. It will be mid-summer at least before I mow this strip along the trees. They are native to eastern North America as far north as Newfoundland, and to the southern US.

5. Sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba, synonym Hepatica nobilis var. acuta​), also a native, offers another small, delicate flower. While clearing ivy from the hill in the back of the house last week, I found a number of these beauties poking their heads through the ivy and honeysuckle vines. I am working on clearing those vines and opening many ferns, trillium, and hepatica plants to the sun and air. This is a never-ending task. Ivy and honeysuckle can cover the hill again within two years.

6. My final offering today might be my favorite spring wildflower, rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides), a woodland native. Sadly this year I have not seen many. But below are two I transplanted into an oval wildflower/native bed last year. They are in the company of what is likely a standard southern orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) that was in some soil I moved to this bed.

So, these are my six for this week, six that might well all but disappear by next week. Many more images of plants, pots, and propagations can be found at the site of The Propagator. Guidelines for joining in on Saturdays can be found there, too. Go. Visit. Scroll. Enjoy.

One Reply to “six on Saturday, 3 April 2021”

  1. Ajuga reptans never does well for us, but is still available in nurseries. Someone got a bit of it at work. It is now behaving about like I expected it to. The blue bloom is nice, but is so sparse and sporadic, with wimpy and slightly weedy foliage. It is a species that I can not figure out. I suspect that it prefers more humidity, but it does not do well even in the riparian situations.


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