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Wildflowers

Wildflowers seem to be the introverts of the botanical world, happy in private rather than public places, avoiding regimentation.

spring beauty flower in woods

Photo: Rob Ireton

One sweet wildflower is "Spring Beauty," often found in damp deciduous woods across America, and its small white and pink flowers appear in April and May.

Wildflowers seem to be the introverts of the botanical world, happy in private rather than public places, avoiding regimentation. We are delighted when we come upon them during a walk in the woods, conscious that so often they bloom unseen.

One sweet wildflower is “Spring Beauty,” often found in damp deciduous woods across America, and its small white and pink flowers appear in April and May.

Our indigenous “Bloodroot” has white single and double blooms and root stalks that exude its signature red sap. The lobed leaves are sometimes confused with the cleft leaves of “Twin Leaf” and its single flowers are similar in terms of petal count and color. “Twin Leaf” was used medicinally for rheumatism, and its genus name “Jeffersonia diphylla” honors a President who was interested in plant science.

There are also different types of “Trillium.” The name comes from the Greek word for three, because the plant has leaves and petals grouped in three. The genus does not occur in Europe, so although it was new to our colonists, they quickly learned from the Indians to use it medicinally too.

John Ruskin wrote, “We cannot fathom the mystery of a single flower, nor is it intended that we should.”

Moya Andrews

, originally from Queensland, Australia, served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Dean of the Faculties at Indiana University until 2004. In the same year, Moya began hosting Focus on Flowers for WFIU. In addition, Moya does interviews for Profiles, is a member of the Bloomington Hospital Board, and authored Perennials Short and Tall from Indiana University Press.

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