Tuesday, April 6, 2010

spring treasures

My childhood home was in a river valley surrounded by lush woody areas.  There were lots of hills and ravines to explore, and I spent many many hours doing just that.  One of my greatest joys was the discovery of the first wildflowers of spring. 
Part of this past Easter weekend was spent at our family's cabin in Southern Minnesota.  The woods still look rather bare, but underneath is a developing carpet of green dotted with the earliest wildflowers, and I headed out, a little giddy, to see what I could find. 
My first discoveries were little clusters of Bloodroot. 
These flowers have large white petals with a brilliant yellow center.
They grow about 3-4" inches high.
Their most distinguishing feature is the reddish-orange liquid stored in a rhizome near the base of the stem.  This colored sap is what gives the flower it's common name.  Some Native American tribes used this substance as a medicinal treatment, skin dye or love potion.  Picking the flowers won't do you any harm, but the sap can be toxic if ingested, so take care.
I picked a small bunch and tucked them into this vintage spice tin for a cabin-worthy bouquet.
Dutchmans breeches were plentiful among the Bloodroot, but were still teeny tiny-only fit for baby dutchmen at this point.  The sunny hillside facing the lake, however, was filled with glorious bunches of pink tinted blooms.
I really love these flowers. 
They have a delicately fringed leaf that is slightly silvery, and a dangling stem full of whimiscal blooms. 
So delightful. 
A big bouquet of these graced our Easter table at the cabin.

I also dug up a few clumps to bring home, and I will try my hand at cultivating them in my city garden.
I'll let you know how they adapt.


  1. So pretty- we were thinking in similar ways this week! Spring in Minnesota...

  2. The blood root bloomed in Fredericksburg, Va. about two weeks ago. Now we are on to bluebells and the trout lillies are showing buds. But 90-degree days are NOT helping. Can't wait for pie day!

  3. Linda-we were definitely in the same frame of mind this week.
    Neva-you guys in Fred are always two steps ahead of us:) We are having a remarkably early spring here, but I've been doing rain dances every day.
    One more day until pie day!
    Thanks for tuning in.