six on Saturday, 8 April 2023

From time to time, a couple of my friends politely remind me to stand up straight –shoulders back, head facing ahead not down like I’m trudging through mud or snow. But if I did that, I’d miss lovely little plants like my six for today. In fairness to my friends, I do often walk like I’m fighting a headwind, and I should be more conscious of better posture. In time, I will concentrate on a straighter (and less achy back), as soon as the ephemerals and spring wildflowers go to sleep for the summer. Until then, so many of these diminutive plants are so wonderfully small, delicate, and short-lived, I have to look down at the earth to catch them. Following are six that I caught in the last two days.

1. The first is one of my favorites, rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides), a North American woodland native with flower stems so thin, the flowers seem to float above the leaves. To my email readers, please click on the name of the post and move to the web version so that you can see the featured image of this plant.

2. The second is another native anemone, wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia), identifiable by its larger, deeply toothed and darker green leaves than those of rue anemone. I included both of these plants in my post on 18 March 2023.

3. Another woodland native is cutleaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata). The flowers in the photo below have yet to open, but once hey do, they will not last long. The name toothwort reportedly comes from the shape of its rhizomes and tooth-like projections along the root stems. Those rhizomes are edible and spicy, giving rise to pepper root as a common name.

4. On to yellow flowers. Downy yellow violet (Viola pubescens) is widespread in North American woodlands. It has a delicate face, but apparently not a delicate effect on human foragers. According to Wildeherb.com, “These pretty violets ā€“ and all members of Viola ā€“ are edible, but the Peterson Edible Plants Guide tells us that the yellow species may be mildly cathartic, which means that they may act as a laxative.”

5. Common goldstar or yellow star grass (Hypoxis hirsuta) is one that I do not often see, so I am glad that I was looking at the ground for this single example.

6. For the final photo this week, I’m going for an Oxalis found throughout the nearly all of the contiguous United States and considered a lawn weed by many: slender yellow wood sorrel or Southern yellow wood sorrel (Oxalis dillenii ). I have few spots of “lawn” in the garden that would be so pretentious to rebuke slender yellow wood sorrel as a weed, though.

So, six small, simple, and rather short-lived plants for this week. I trust other Six on Saturday participants will offer taller plants and more bloom-filled photos in the comments and links at Garden Ruminations, the site of our Six on Saturday leader, Jim Stephens. A link to guidelines for joining in the sharing of garden images and observations can be found there as well.

8 Replies to “six on Saturday, 8 April 2023”

  1. I also stand accused of walking into the wind. Thank you for so expertly naming all those tiny spring ephemerals that add color to our lives and lawns. At present, I am enjoying the lyre leaf sage and dogbane that covers the roadsides here in Birmingham.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think it’s a good time to keep an eye on the ground. šŸ˜‰ It’s a lush year for wildflowers here in Arizona too, and I don’t want to miss any of them by not looking where my feet are going!
    That rue anemone is such a beautiful thing!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. They all look so familiar, although I know that I have not likely met all of them. I do not get close enough to identify them. Of course, sorrel is a very common weed at home and work. Toothwort is not quite as common, but inhabits the same landscapes. I just saw a bunch of yellow violet in Oregon, but doubt that they are the same. Wood anemone lives there also, but that is only the common name for a species that is likely different. Goldstar grass bloomed where we were in Oklahoma, but again, I do not know what that species was. Rue anemone is one that I doubt I have ever seen, . . . although it looks familiar.

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