Red Maple March 2020 Wildflower of the Month

July 22, 2020

  By Helen Hamilton  One of the first signs of spring is the red haze over the bare limbs of our local maple trees. This would be the male and female flowers of Red Maple. Typical of many species, the male flowers appear first as a yellowish pink, closely followed by the darker pink blossoms…

Skunk Cabbage February 2020 Wildflower of the Month

June 7, 2020

    by Helen Hamilton, John Clayton Chapter   Poking up through the snow is a purple-brown and green mottled hood, which is a modified leaf, 2–5 inches long. Inside is a nearly round flower head with many small, tightly packed individual flowers. They “bloom” when stamens emerge above the four tiny sepals. After the…

Witch Hazel January 2020 Wildflower of the Month

January 18, 2020

By Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society This low-branching shrub or small tree can furnish year-round interest, with winter-blooming flowers. From late fall and into winter, fragrant yellow flowers, each with four, crinkly, ribbon-shaped petals, grow in clusters close to the stem.  Throughout the summer the branches are covered by broad, slightly…

Winterberry Dec 2019 Wildflower of the Month

November 30, 2019

Winterberry  (Ilex verticillata) by Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society Truly a spectacular sight in winter – long whips of red berries against a white background, or any place where a spot of bright red is welcome. This holly loses its leaves in late fall and until eaten by songbirds, the glossy…

New York Ironweed September 2019 Wildflower of the Month

September 16, 2019

New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis) by Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter VNPS These are handsome, robust plants with stunning floral color. The sturdy stems grow three to ten feet tall and maintain an upright posture throughout the fall. Leaves are lance-shaped and finely toothed. The intense deep purple flowers bloom from late summer to early…

Deerberry June 2019 Wildflower of the Month

July 23, 2019

June Wildflower of the Month By Helen Hamilton    Deerberry is a member of a large genus which includes blueberries, and cranberries. This species is a tall (to 10 feet) deciduous shrub with variable foliage, mostly egg-shaped. Leaves are thin and not toothed, typically whitish underneath. Unlike the closed, tubular buds and flowers of blueberry,…

Rose-Mallow August 2019 Wildflower of the Month

July 23, 2019

by Helen Hamilton, John Clayton Chapter  The wide showy flowers of Rose-Mallow signal the start of summer, as they bloom profusely in moist areas until September.  Each flower is open for only a day, but they follow sequentially over time. The bloom is a larger version of okra, cotton or hollyhocks which are also members…

Ferns Mosses and Forest Plants

July 22, 2019

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Deerberry

May 23, 2019

Wildflower Spot– June 2019 By Helen Hamilton DEERBERRY Vaccinium stamineum Photo: Phillip Merritt Deerberry is a member of a large genus which includes blueberries, and cranberries.  This species is a tall (to 10 feet) deciduous shrub with variable foliage, mostly egg-shaped.  Leaves are thin and not toothed, typically whitish underneath.  Unlike the closed, tubular buds…

Yellow Trout Lily May 2019 Wildflower of the Month

May 19, 2019

  By Helen Hamilton   In early spring, look for a bright yellow flower, drooping towards the ground (“its eyes look downwards”).  Each stem is only 4-6 inches tall with a solitary flower on top.  A member of the lily family, the trout lily has flower parts in threes, i. e., 3 yellow “sepals” and…