Sunday, April 27, 2014

Dog's-tooth and toothwort

The redbuds, in case you're wondering, are beginning to fill brushy wooded areas of Red Haw with pink mist --- and should be at their best later this week. When at their peak, Red Haw State Park's redbuds offer one of the best shows in southern Iowa and shouldn't be missed.

The white blossoms here obviously are not redbuds --- there will be plenty of time later for that. I was looking for more subtle stuff late Saturday afternoon, hoping not to miss a thing as spring moves through the woodlands. Woodland wildflowers often are called spring ephemerals because they fade quickly, then vanish as the canopy leafs out.

I was happy to spot --- after considerable staring at the ground --- toothwort. The name reportedly comes from the root, said to have tooth-like projections. I've never pulled anything up to check this out. Don't you do that either.

But the prizes of the day were the first white dog's-tooth violets, also known as trout lilies. The mottled foliage is distinctive and was widespread Saturday --- but blossoms few and far between. As with toothwort, dog's-tooth reportedly refers to the shape of the little plan'ts bulb.

I reported on dutchman's breeches and rue-anemone (below) last week. Woodland areas that wildflowers favor are carpeted with these right now. But this act of spring's production won't last long, so hurry!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I was going to the Corydon Lake this p.m. but the rains beat me. Interesting stuff