Walking the Mill Race Trail at Little Buffalo State Park one can see many Spring-flowering plants in the months of April and May.
Miterwort, Mitella diphylla, is one of the early to mid-Spring bloomers and a member of the Saxifrage family.
Stalked basal leaves and a pair of conjoined leaves at middle of single flowering stem will easily identify miterwort.
The beautifully fringed flowers are in a terminal cluster,
but separated enough from each other so as to be appreciated singly.
Each flower is attached to the main stem by the top of its miter.
Not being Catholic, I didn’t get the Bishop’s Cap or Miterwort common names for this plant. Some say the flower suggests the headdress worn by bishops, but I just don’t see it and prefer to think of these tiny unusual flowers as having a certain snowflake geometry. I know, the flowers are five-sided and not six-sided like a true snowflake, but that’s what comes to my mind instead of a Bishop’s Cap. (If you play chess, the top of the bishop is in the shape of a miter.)
Miterwort can be found in rich woods in Eastern North America. The subjects of the photos presented here were blooming near a creek on 6 May 2014.