Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Birchbank Mtn Wildflower Show Begins

Dutchman's Breeches
The spring wildflowers at Birchbank Mountain are opening up just in the nick of time for our "Trillium Hike" this Sunday at 1:00 pm (click link for exact parking location). Peak spring wildflower season is generally the same time as opening fishing (3rd Saturday in April) or Tax Day (April 15), sometime earlier and sometimes later.  An unusually cold March set things back, but after a few warmer days the flowers are really starting to pop. 

Dutchman's Breeches carpet the forest floor
Early spring woodland flowers can be found across the state, but I've never seen a carpet of Dutchman's Breeches like this anywhere else in the state.  The sandy soil and cool slope are apparently the perfect conditions for them.

Trillium almost in bloom
There wasn't any Trillium in bloom yet, but almost.  There's a good chance a few early Trillium will be open by the hike on Sunday.

Trout Lily

Trout Lily is supposedly called that because it blooms around opening fishing day. Which is in three days, so that's about right. 

Spicebush is sometimes call "Forsythia of the Wild."  It's aromatic and is used to make tea. Hence the name.

Dutchman's Breeches really are the star of the show. They are one of the most delicate wildflowers of the woods, names after the really wide trousers Dutch sailors were known to wear

Bloodroot got it's name because red juice oozes out of a cut stem. The leaves at the base close up around the stem like a pair of hands holding a flower.

Japanese Knotweed
Birchbank Mountain is a good place to collect edible invasive species. Japanese Knotweed is harvested as the spears come out of the ground and used in place of rhubarb.  It's been made into "Itadori Tea" for thousands of years. See more here.

Field Garlic
Field Garlic is that stuff that grows in your lawn and looks like chives.  You can eat it in the spring while it's tender.

Garlic Mustard
Garlic Mustard is a potherb that was brought to America by Europeans as a food source.  Garlic Mustard Pesto is a popular dish, but it can be added to soups, stews, or in pasta.

Dutchman's Breeches and Trillium

The invasive plants are competing with the native wildflowers, so by eating the invasives you also help out the native wildflowers.

No comments:

Post a Comment