Spiderwort, Speedwell and Sorrel

Violet Wood Sorrel, Oxalis violacea, is blooming profusely now with several flowers on each stalk. The dark pink flowers rise above and contrast nicely with the light green, heart-shaped compound leaves. I was happy to see this plant bloom again this year as I transplanted it from North Carolina last year. We seem to only have the Yellow Wood Sorrel, Oxalis europaea, in my area of Pennsylvania. You might be familiar with Yellow Wood Sorrel by the name of Sour Grass. The leaves and fruit capsule taste sour due to the presence of oxalic acid.

Violet Wood Sorrel blooming in pink.

Violet Wood Sorrel blooming in pink.

It’s nice living in the mountains in a rural area. Since we are not in a housing development created by completely raping the land of all its beauty and uniqueness, we are privy to parts of nature that many people don’t see. We get the neatest volunteers!

Daisy Fleabane appearing naturally at edge of a flower garden.

Daisy Fleabane appearing naturally at edge of a flower garden.

The daisy fleabane is past its prime, but you can still see many smilin' faces!

The daisy fleabane is past its prime, but you can still see many smilin’ faces!

OK, so peach trees aren’t exactly wild herbs, but I wanted to show off the quarter-sized fruits! If the dog or some other wild thing harvests the peaches before we can, I’ll be mad. Never ate my own homegrown peach before!

Fuzzy young peaches in the backyard.

Fuzzy young peaches in the backyard.

A wildflower that I really noticed today was the Thyme-leaved Speedwell, Veronica serpyllifolia, a member of the Snapdragon family. A low-growing plant that snakes through the lawn, thyme-leaved speedwell has four light blue petals with dark purple lines running the length of the petal and two long stamens that are quite noticeable. The flowers are clustered at the tops of erect stems in snapdragon-like fashion.

Thyme-leaved speedwell forms mats in many grassy lawns.
Thyme-leaved speedwell forms mats in many grassy lawns.

Flower spike of thyme-leaved speedwell.

Flower spike of thyme-leaved speedwell.

Without really trying we created a purple theme in our flower gardens this year. Part of the mix includes an outstanding Calibrachoa hybrid “Superbells’ Blue” and the native Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana.

Superbell's Blue hybrid Calibrachoa.

Superbell’s Blue hybrid Calibrachoa.

The Spiderwort flowers are only open in the morning. By the afternoon the petals have wilted into a gelatinous mass.

Spiderwort flowers closed by the afternoon.

Spiderwort flowers closed by the afternoon.

Stayed tuned for photos of open Spiderwort blooms!

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