What’s in Bloom | Groundcherries

What’s in Bloom | Groundcherries

July 15, 2021 Groundcherries (Physalis spp.) are perennial herbs in the nightshade family. There are seven native species of ground cherry in Virginia that can be distinguished by the shapes and textures of their leaves and flowers, but they all can be identified by their drooping, bell-shaped yellow flowers and golden fruits enclosed by papery heart-shaped husks.  They can be found in a variety of habitats and can be weedy in disturbed area such as pastures and agricultural fields. When ripe, […]

What’s in Bloom | Solomon’s-plume

What’s in Bloom | Solomon’s-plume

June 1, 2021 Eastern Solomon’s-plume (Maianthemum racemosum) is a perennial herb native to the continental United States and much of Canada.Spreads via thick rhizomes, from which grow un-branching stems in the spring which die back before winter. Though often mistaken for Solomon’s-seal, it produces a distinctive plume of flowers, very different from the hanging flower clusters made by its lookalike.  Eastern […]

What’s in Bloom | Tulip-poplar

What’s in Bloom | Tulip-poplar

May 17, 2021 Tulip-poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera) is among the tallest deciduous hardwood trees in North America, between 60-150 feet tall.Native to the eastern USA and Canada.Common name was inspired by yellow-orange tulip-like flowers, blooming May-June. However, it belongs to the family magnoliacea. Has a long history of use by people, primarily for its wood.Provides an abundant food source for native pollinators  Tulip-poplar […]

What’s in Bloom | Wild Geranium

What’s in Bloom | Wild Geranium

May 5, 2021 Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum) is a woodland perennial herb native to Eastern North America. It spreads via self-ejecting seeds and thick underground rhizomes. It belongs to the genus Geranium, named after Greek word geranos, crane, due to the beak-like seed pod.  Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum), also known as cranesbill, is a woodland perennial herb native to eastern North America, […]

What’s in Bloom | Mayapple

What’s in Bloom | Mayapple

May 4, 2021 Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum) is a perennial herb that can be recognized by its distinctive peltate, or umbrella-like, leaves. It is found in rich woodlands and will form large colonies by sprouting new plants along its creeping rhizomes. Young plants will only have one leaf, while mature plants will have two leaves borne on a Y-shaped stem.  Mayapples are named for their single, sweet-smelling, apple-blossom-like flowers that bloom from the center of their Y-shaped stems from March through May.  Benefits to Biodiversity | […]

What’s in Bloom | Sassafras

What’s in Bloom | Sassafras

April 12, 2021 Sassafras (Sassafras albidum) is a deciduous tree between 35-60 feet tall, with yellow-green flower balls during spring.Many uses for bark and roots including flavoring, medicine, scents, and dyes; Safrole found in oils is mildly carcinogenic, thus commercial use has been largely banned.Suitable for planting in disturbed, infertile soils.Attracts fruit-eating birds and hosts various pollinator species. Sassafras (Sassafras […]