African Garden + wildflowers

Wildflower Week & Last Week at Squirrelhaven
double bloodroot

Finally, at long last, after teasing me for weeks with an ever-plumping bud, the double flowered Sanguinaria canadensis multiplex has bloomed. It is a sad, lonely thing. All its companions were destroyed by squirrels digging, but every year, this one plant manages to delight me. I am trying to be patient and wait for it to increase. It makes the perfect opening for Wildflower Week, hosted by that wildflower gardener extraordinaire, Gail of Clay and Limestone.

For those who think doubled flowers shouldn't qualify as wildflowers, here are a couple of good clumps of the straight species. Sanguinaria canadensis is very happy here at Squirrelhaven, maybe a little too happy. I planted the clump in the background, but the ants are responsible for the ones in the foreground. The common name "bloodroot" comes from the sap that is exuded when the root is cut.

April 24, 2011

If you look closely at the bottom, you can see one plant still in bud. Photographing bloodroot in bloom is difficult, as the flowers open only in the sun in the middle of the day. To get a good photo, one must wait for a partly cloudy day, or a day such as yesterday that started off sunny, then got cloudy late in the afternoon. Then the photographer must rush out to the garden and snap a few shots before the blooms start to close.

In other wildflower news, the wild ginger has begun blooming.

Asarum canadensis is grown for its foliage, not its blooms. It makes a great dry shade groundcover. Most of the time, one never notices the blooms, but the flower was easy to spot on this volunteer pioneer under the yellowwood tree (Cladrastis kentukea) out front. Soon, there will be a skirt of rounded leaves under the tree. Like I said, it makes a great groundcover.

With groundcover pretensions, the Virginia bluebells have formed a lovely colony. Too bad the foliage doesn't last long. It just started blooming.

Mertensia virginica

Turning to other news, the 'Easter Moon' tulips bloomed just in time, on Holy Saturday. This is a perennial Darwin tulip, so it comes back every year.

This year, for the first time, I've managed to protect all the foliage and the blooms from the deer.

Tulipa 'Easter Moon'

The variegated edge to the foliage makes this tulip really special, along with the subtle, almost Rembrandt-type coloring of the blooms.

At the foot of the tulips are the grape hyacinths, which bloomed at exactly the same time.


These came with the property. I would never plant them because I hate how ratty the foliage looks at bloom time.

The forsythia still looks amazing, the magnolia is about to bloom, and spring is getting back on track.

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Wildflower Week & Last Week at Squirrelhaven + wildflowers