Mariton: More Flowers

April 19, 2012

by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager

This week brings more blossoms.  The Pawpaw Tree (Asimina triloba  ) at the start of the Main Trail has lots of flowers.  Perhaps this is the year that this tree bears fruit.  The Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) is also in bloom.  The Ginger flower is similar to the Pawpaw’s in color (brown-purple) and shape (bell-shaped).  However, the Ginger flowers are found on the ground, and even hidden under leaves.  I found a patch of Blackhaw Viburnum (Viburnum prunifolium) that had blossoms, but most are still without.  Sassafras trees (Sassafras albidum) are also blooming.  During last October’s snow storm, several Sassafras trees were knocked over.  Their branches are now at eye level and you can see their flowers as you walk along the trails.  The Dogwood (Cornus florida) is flowering thoughout Mariton’s forests.

A really interesting shrub at Mariton is the American Bladder Nut (Staphylea trifolia).  Right now it is flowering on the Sout Fox Trail.  Latter on, the flowers will develop into a three chambered seed pod that looks like a minature paper lantern. 

 The Perfoliated Bellwort (Uvularia perfoliata) is now flowering.  In the next week, one should be able to see lots of the nodding yellow blossoms along the trails.  This is probably the most abundant wildflower at Mariton and can be found just about everywhere, including the meadows.  I like it because the common and Latin names are fun to say.  White Baneberry (Actaea pachypoda) is also just beginning to bloom.  Solomon’s Seal (Polygonatum biflorum) has buds and should be flowering soon.  I also found my first Mayapple (Podophyllum pelatum) blossom this morning.

The Trilliums (White, Red and Lemon-scented) are all in blossom now and quite lovely.