Tag Archives: White Trout Lily

Nature Walk on Earth Day

It was a beautiful day for a walk, so I headed out to the Morton Arboretum to walk and celebrate Earth Day.  Spring flowers were in abundance!

Here’s what I saw:

White Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum)
Immature plants produce a single leaf and no flower, while mature plants produce a pair of leaves and a single flower. Colonies often have far more leaves than flowers.

Prairie Trillium (Trillium recurvatum)

This poisonous plant never really “opens” like other trilliums. The drooping sepals and stalked leaves are clues that you have this trillium and not the very similar Toad Shade.

Virginia Springbeauty (Claytonia virginica)

This small flower is a sure sign that spring has arrived! You’ll find them open on warm sunny days and closed during cloudy weather and at night. These are stunning as a sweeping sea of pink in the forest.

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Wild geraniums are easily identified by their large palmately lobed leaves and their beak-like seed capsules that point upwards.

Cutleaf Toothwort (Cardamine concatenata)

This fragrant flower is easy to spot and identify by its toothed leaf pattern. By the end of spring, both the flowers and foliage will disappear until next year.

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia)

While I often find these as weeds in my yard, their deep purple flowers are a cheerful find amidst all the decaying fall leaves.

Lily of the Valley (Convallaria majalis)

This escaped ornamental plant, which can be mistaken for Wild Leeks (Spring Leeks (aka Ramps), will soon show it’s distinct white flowers.  Unlike leeks, all parts of this plant are highly toxic.  If it doesn’t smell like onions or garlic, don’t eat it!

After my hike in the spring woods, I stopped by my local Wild Birds Unlimited store to stock up on sunflower seeds and suet for the birds and to buy a bat house to encourage bats to our place in Wisconsin. The staff at WBU is a great source of info for what’s going on in your local bird world, and I find the best birding supplies there. Today, I heard the hummingbirds are back already so time to get the feeders out (Hummingbird Nectar)!

Then as a last fun nature day stop, I went by a local nursery to buy some Summer Beauty Allium (Allium tanguticum).  I have a hot, dry sunny spot where oddly nothing seems too happy to grow.  I’ve been seeing these in similar locations in public gardens so I’ll give them a try. They produce a pretty pom-pom flower display mid-summer, are sterile so aren’t invasive, are pollinator favorites, and rabbits stay away from them.  All around sounds pretty good to me.

Did you get out and enjoy this spring day!



Enjoying a Glorious Spring Weekend

We have had a crazy spring to say the least!  Temperatures all over the place, snow, rain, sleet, you name it we’ve had it.  But this weekend was truly a glorious one and made us forget all the bad stuff Mother Nature has thrown at us the last few weeks (or maybe months).  In between catching up with the yard work, Steve and I got out to enjoy the spring that has finally arrived.

We started off with a hike off the beaten trail at the Morton Arboretum.  The spring bulbs were in full color.

Morton Arboretum

But what really caught my eye were the spring wildflowers we found.  Some of these I haven’t seen in years, so it was fun to keep our heads down and see what early spring wildflowers we could find.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)–The sun was shining on this patch so the flowers were wide open.  They’ll close up at night and last only a couple of days.

Morton Arboretum

Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris)–This area is usually flooded, but not much rain this week so a nice big patch of Marsh Marigold glowed in the distance.

Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica)–This flower that just screams spring covered a woody hillside making it look almost cloud white.  Stunning!

Morton Arboretum

White Trout Lily (Erythronium albidum)–There were trout lily leaves everywhere, but it wasn’t until almost at the end of the walk we finally saw a few flowers.  Trout Lilies, or Adders-tongues as I used to know them by, take years to finally mature and bloom, and then it’s only for a few days.

Morton Arboretum

Dutchman’s Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) -This has to be my favorite of the day!  The flowers truly look like pantaloons with the ankles upward hanging from a clothesline.

Morton Arboretum

May-apple (Podophyllum peltatum)--Not quite blooming yet, but soon.

Morton Arboretum

Besides the flowers that were enjoying the spring warmth, so were the turtles.  In this pond, every log had multiple turtles sunning themselves.

Morton Arboretum

We finished the day by exploring the 2016 special exhibit “Ribbit! The Exhibit“.  There are 23 larger-than-life copper frogs taking part in a variety of activities, all centered around the visitors center.  J.A. Cobb, a North Carolina-based sculptor, fashioned these fun sculptures from sheets of copper around steel armatures.  Here’s my favorite–

Morton Arboretum

And in keeping with this frog’s theme, I did see and hear many birds on our walk, including a pair of Wood Ducks and a Pileated Woodpecker.

What’s your favorite spring flower?