Mariton: More Wildflowers
by Tim Burris, Preserve Manager
I don’t normally get very good photos of Dutchman’s Britches (Dicentra cucullaria), but I am happy with this one. There were two patches and odd singles of these flowers that I knew of at Mariton. One of the patches started looking unhealthy after Hurricane Sandy. (There is now a lot of sunlight in that location.) The other patch seemed to spread a little and get healthier after the storm. Now I have found this wildflower in new locations. The new ones are blooming a little later than the older patches, so I hope that is a sign that we will find more of these in Mariton’s woods in the future.
Dutchman’s Britches are related to and resemble Squirrel Corn (D. canadensis). Both plants have small black shiny seeds, but these are not food for squirrels. Rather, the yellow root tubers resemble corn kernels. Don’t eat them. The plant is known for its toxicity. Another name for Dutchman’s Britches is Blue Staggers, perhaps a warning.
There are still a few Hepatica and Bloodroot to be found in places. The Rue Anemone (Anemonella thalictroides) can be found along many of the trails. I saw a Jack in the Pulpit flower (Arisaema atrorubens)pushing through the leaves, and also some Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense)that are just getting started.