Wildflowers are one of my favorite subjects. The abundance of spring wildflowers in Maine brings me many hours of enjoyment. Here are a couple of wildflowers with similar petal structures, prefering the same sort of woodland habitats, although they are from unrelated families. Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica,) pictured above, is from the Portulaca family and grows from an edible, nutty flavored corm.
I find the fine purple veining of the petals very beautiful. These grow on our farm in many places, especially along the banks of Martin Stream, a small river. The seeds of Spring Beauty include elaiosomes much as Dutchman’s Breeches’ seeds. Ants eat this fleshy part of the seed cover and disburse the seeds by adding them to their underground waste piles.
Wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia,) also called Nightcaps, in the photo above, are from the buttercup family. These lovely little white to pinkish-white flowering plants form large colonies in our woodlands. The anemones spread by underground rhizomes, are quite sensitive to habitat change and die out easily. Their petals are actually sepals.
Finding a spread of anemone in the woods, a carpet of green and white against the brown winter leaves, is magical. A perfect place to seek for tiny elves and woodland fairies.