Yellow violets are fairly common around the same areas where you’ll see wild ginger, skunk cabbage and other creek-side flowers.
Like other violets yellow violet flowers have five petals and a spur, so the blossoms are easily recognized as a kind of violet.
As an aid to identification violets can be separated into two groups: stemmed violets and stemless violets. Stemmed violets bear their leaves and flowers on the same erect stalk. Stemless violets have flowers and leaves on separate stalks.
After placing your violet in the stemmed or stemless categories, inspect the leaf shape and look for
In early to mid-Spring Sassafras shrubs and trees produce flowers before their leaves are fully developed.
Lemony yellow flowers cluster together near the ends of branches in roundish clumps. The clusters of blossoms can be seen from a distance against the backdrop of the browns and grays of the awakening forest.
The sexes are separate so that certain shrubs or trees will have male flowers and others will have female flowers.
Sassafras blossoms look very similar, but overall the male flowers
Skunk cabbage leaves came out of the ground preformed like rolled up cigars at least a month ago and they seem to be getting bigger by the day. Heck, they are so big now you can easily see them from the road as you’re driving.
Taking walks by the creek the last two weeks we saw many similar ‘rolled cigars’ that were just poking out of the ground, so at first we didn’t know what plant it was. The skunk cabbage leaves were already bigger than a dinner plate and obviously past their time of sprouting up out of the ground. Then, I looked down on one of the first of these plants to completely come out of the ground and knew that these spikes of vegetation were to become the aerial parts of Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Arisaema triphyllum.
Usually, you’ll see the striped hoodie and three leaves when you notice this plant.
Looking for any blooming weed will have you seeing flowers everywhere. Even in parking lots!
Check out these tiny blue forget-me-nots that were blooming in the rocky parking lot at Little Buffalo State Park, near the swimming pool area. This rugged little plant survives growing up in gravel, being stepped on and driven over. You could say it’s hardy, for sure.
With a name like Squirrel Corn my first thought wasn’t of a spring flowering plant, but it’s real!
A delicate-looking perennial plant that blooms in early to mid-Spring is commonly called Squirrel Corn. It supposedly gets its name from the yellow underground tubers that resemble kernels of corn. Not sure why “squirrel” is in the name! Perhaps squirrels eat the tubers or play a part in transplanting them.
Squirrel Corn, Dicentra canadensis, is native to Eastern United States just like the Dutchman’s Breeches that it was blooming near.