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Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Wildflower Wednesday #3

Despite the relatively dry weather, most of last week's wildflowers are still open and many new flowers are in bloom in and around NBNC!

Dutchman's Breeches (right) are abundant along the river and their unique shape and intricately laced foliage make it a very attractive spring ephemeral.  Insects with long tongues, such as bumblebees, are best suited to extract nectar from and pollinate these plants.

Red Trillium is also in flower.  The fowl odor of these blossoms, combined with the flesh-red petals, mimic a dead animal and are designed to attract flies, which in turn pollinate the flowers.

Another flesh-red flower in bloom along the river is Wild Ginger (below).  This plant's flowers are small, bowl-shaped blossoms that lie flat on the ground.

It is theorized that this flower location is intended to attract flies just as they are emerging from the ground in early spring.  Those flies, which will immediately search for a dead animal on which to lay their eggs, may find these peculiar flowers instead!

And finally, on the steep hillside across the river from NBNC, the Trailing Arbutus is just beginning to flower!

Coming Attractions

Many plants are just waiting for the next rain to fuel their growth.  One common flower that will soon be seen along the trails at NBNC is Wild Strawberry.  Even without flowers, the dew on their leaves can be stunningly beautiful.

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