Mean Beauty

This is a thistle species, not sure which Cirsium it is.

They are usually purple here in North Carolina.

I had to get a closer look at this  crimson beauty, but don’t touch!

I doubt anything can eat these leaves.

By looking at the seeds flying off the top, there will be more in this field for years to come.


Mean, but beautiful.


Sweet Betsy

This plant was sent to me by one of my first garden blogger friends.

I will think of her every spring when it blooms.

Sweet Betsy’s scientific name is Trillium cuneatum.

Sweet Betsy, Trillium cuneatum

It is also called toadshade because of the mottled coloration of its leaves.

It is thriving under the fig tree. Thanks Marian.


Four More Mountain Wildflowers

Here are four more of my favorites. Their beauty is sublte.

The first is in the snapdragon family Smooth False Foxglove/ Aureolaria laevigata.

It lives under oaks and its buds remind me of corn kernels.

This is two types of Spiked Lobelia/ Lobelia spicata.

The flowers are similar, but the arrangement varies.

The flowers have matured into fruit on this Partridgeberry/ Mitchella repens.

I love its creeping growth and brilliant red berries.

This Rattlesnake Plantain(Orchid)/ Goodyera pubescens is loved for its leaves.

This plant has been collected for terrariums.

Never take a wild plant home. They have needs that you cannot meet.

Love them and leave them.

Wild Flow

Mountain Wildflowers

I will start with the four show-offs.

These are the ones everyone notices by road or stream.

My next post will be of the quiet little beauties that may be overlooked.

This stand of New York Ironweed/ Veronica novebaracensis is by a road I travel often.


I look for it every summer and fall. It has gotten bigger over the years.


It is over six feet tall.  When the sun hits it, it can stop traffic.

Joe Pye weed/ Eupartorium maculatum is another tall beauty.


Legend has it that it is named for an Indian “Joe Pye” who used it to cure fevers.


This stand is huge and also beside a familiar road.

I was lucky to find this Cardinal flower/Lobelia cardinalis. This one is named for being the color of Roman Catholic cardinal robes.


It was tucked up under a bridge. This one has been over-picked and is harder to find.


The last is probably the most familiar, Goldenrod/ Solidago.


I was hesitant to pick a species name for this one without a closer look.

It is a supplier of mountain sunshine along roads and fences.


So here are the “big four.”  Next will come the “hardly noticed” mountain wildflowers.

Flower in the Wild

What’s so Great about Grass?

We may need to rethink this fescue fetish we have here in America.

Who needs grass when you can have your own meadow and eat it too?

Bright yellow Dandelions and greens mixed with a tiny purple blooming mint named Gill-over-the-ground and violets.  Why that’s a giant salad. When is the last time you’ve eaten grass?


Not only is it lovely, but Goldfinches eat the dandelion seeds too.  Recognize that yellow?



Now you tell me how a lawn of nothing but green could beat this?

Birds and Blooms.   Just what I love.



Mayapples in April

The Mayapples/Podophyllum peltatum are just starting to bloom here in North Carolina.

These lovely plants make bright green colonies in rich-soiled, hardwood forests.

Mayapple plants have one stem, two leaves and a flower in the crotch where the stem bifurcates.

The solitary flower is hidden under the umbrella-like leaves.

The petals are waxy white and the stamens are a lovely butter yellow.

Wild flowers are wonderful.

Go find some!



A Child of the Woods

Back when I was young, I spent most of my time outside.

I have always been fascinated by nature.


We would include rocks, plants and animals into our play.

When my sister and I took a walk this afternoon,

we saw a lovely stand of white wildflowers.


I wanted to call them another name, but “blood root” came out of my mouth.

The scientific name is Sanguinaria canadensis.   Sanguineus means blood red.


That name was way back in my brain. We used to play with this plant.


The roots bleed red, as the name implies. We would paint ourselves with its dye.


I was thrilled to have that memory brought back to me.


You may take the Flower out of the woods,

but you cannot take the Woods out of the Flower.


An Evening Walk in the Woods

I took a walk down our road this evening.

I wanted to photograph two of our wildflowers.

Jewelweed/ Impatiens capensis/Touch me nots

The orange Jewel weed was being molested by a group of hummingbirds.


They were zipping through the patch, shaking the plants and making all kinds of racket.


Periodically one would sit and rest on the nearby Pokeberry weed.


I also wanted to get some pictures of hearts-a-bustin’.

Hearts-a-bustin/ Euonymus americanus

I cut across my neighbors’ property on the way home.

I found even more fungi.

Red -belted polypore/ bracket fungi

This snail is having this knocked-over-one for supper.

IMG_4304I gave it back after the photo.

Amanita ? Poisonous ? Never eat tall white.


‘Tis the season!

Snail on a mushroom on a tree. Food chain!

Snails love their ‘shrooms!