Spring "Ephemerals" Leave Lasting Impressions

Clintonia group.jpg

The wildflowers of our brief, blink-or-you-miss-it Adirondack spring have to work fast. They need energy to open blossoms made and tucked in cold storage the preceding year, and they need to produce nectar, pollen, and ovaries ready for seed-making. It's a race to get leaves up, flowers out, and pollen delivered before deep shade comes over the forest and slows things down. Because our spring flowers appear so briefly, they're sometimes called "ephemerals." You won't forget them. Here are images of ephemerals I photographed in our neck of the woods this spring. Can you identify the ones in the image above? You'll find a different photo of the same plant identified below. 

  Bloodroot,  Sanguinaria canadensis

Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis

  Red trillium,    Trillium erectum ,  also known as "stinking Benjamin" and "wet dog"

Red trillium, Trillium erectum, also known as "stinking Benjamin" and "wet dog"

  Foam-flower,  Tiarella cordifolia

Foam-flower, Tiarella cordifolia

  Carolina spring beauty,  Claytonia caroliniana

Carolina spring beauty, Claytonia caroliniana

  Painted trillium,  Trillium undulatum

Painted trillium, Trillium undulatum

  Dutchman's breeches,  Dicentra cucullaria  

Dutchman's breeches, Dicentra cucullaria 

  Clintonia,  Clintonia borealis  , also known as bluebead lily (formerly in the lily family)

Clintonia, Clintonia borealis, also known as bluebead lily (formerly in the lily family)

  Starflower,  Trientalis borealis

Starflower, Trientalis borealis

  Canada mayflower,  Maianthemum canadense  , also known as "wild lily-of-the-valley"

Canada mayflower, Maianthemum canadense, also known as "wild lily-of-the-valley"

  Wild sarsaparilla,  Aralia nudicaulis

Wild sarsaparilla, Aralia nudicaulis

  Jack-in-the-pulpit,  Arisaema triphyllum

Jack-in-the-pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum

  Pink lady-slipper,  Cypripedium acaule  , also known as moccasin-flower

Pink lady-slipper, Cypripedium acaule, also known as moccasin-flower