Thursday, April 14, 2011

Sweet Betsy flower color morphs

The flowers of Sweet Betsy (Trillium cuneatum) are usually purple in color, but some plants have yellow or greenish flowers. Here, we see the purple and yellow flower morphs on adjacent plants. The flowers often have a faint spice-like odor, but you usually have to get your nose up close to the plant to detect it.

Bloodroot in bloom

It's hard to resist taking a photo of bloodroot, especially when they've just emerged and are so fresh-looking with gobs of golden pollen. The flowers lack nectar, so it's pollen alone that attracts (and rewards) bees and flies that function as pollinators. If the flower fails to attract a pollinator within 3-4 days, the anthers curl into the stigma brushing pollen onto its surface, thereby self-pollinating the flower, a useful backup mechanism since low temperatures and wet conditions frequently reduce insect activity in early spring .

Sunday, April 3, 2011

We saw our first hummingbird this year on the first day of April. While it was visiting our feeder, another good source of sugar water (actually nectar) for it are the flowers of red buckeye (Aesculus pavia) which are currently in bloom in our yard.