As someone that lives in a semi-rural area, I delight in finding native plants popping up in defiance of attempts by humans to landscape over them. I have heard stories of trilliums popping up in lawns (and people asking how to get rid of them!) and seen many a tree sprout in an ill-chosen location. This week I came upon a couple of my favorites – bluets (Houstonia caerulea) and springbeauties (Claytonia virginica) growing in suburban lawns.
I would not say that the owners of these lawns considered these plants “weeds” but I guarantee you that they certainly don’t realize they are native spring wildflowers for which some people pay good money! The bluets are tiny blue flowers with even tinier leaves. They are growing in the outer edge of a lawn in my neighborhood that uses no chemicals (yay!). The springbeauties are in the lawn of the local library; they have created an amazing colony on one side of the building. I’m sure the slender foliage of this plant is easily overlooked in a lawn. Both wildflowers live for only a few months in the spring before going dormant.
|Carpet of springbeauties at the library|
It makes me smile to find these charming natives in such unexpected places in my everyday life.
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) is also blooming this week, and I have a chance to see a whole bunch of it. I am babysitting several hundred pots of it for the Georgia Native Plant Society. It was rescued from a suburban backyard that was undergoing a renovation – the homeowners didn’t even realize what they had: the largest, thickest mass of bloodroot that any of us had ever seen in one place. But they graciously allowed us to rescue the part in the path of the renovation so that we can sell it in our spring plant sale. We also helped them dig up and save a bunch of it for themselves so it can be replanted after construction.
With spring approaching quickly, I hope that you are finding some of our special Georgia wildflowers in your area. Where you find them just might surprise you.