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Old May 9, 2016, 9:10 PM   #1
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Default A Great Blooming Season

This past early spring here in the East Tennessee hills has been an especially great season for wildflowers this year. Here are just a few samples from some March and early April wanderings…

First a few views of Bloodroot - an early spring member of the Poppy family. We had LOTS of bloom this year, but only lasted a short time. (PS - the name comes from the reddish sap).
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:11 PM   #2
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Twinleaf looks a lot like Bloodroot, but has an even briefer blooming season. This is a plant with very spotty distribution - can be very abundant in one location, and very rare in similar forests not too far away.
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:11 PM   #3
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Here's another early season bloomer. Hepatica is often our earliest spring wildflower, and is quite abundant in a wide range of forests.
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:13 PM   #4
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March is also blooming season for Rue Anemone. These tiny flowers start off pink, but soon fade to white. They're one of the plants called "windflower" because they shake in the slightest breeze. (and isn't that always one big challenge of photographing spring wildflowers…)
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:13 PM   #5
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This is our other common anemone - Wood Anemone. Tends to be rarer than Rue, and found in older, richer forests.
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:14 PM   #6
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Here's an "up close and personal" view of a tiny spring wildflower called Squirrel Corn. It's a distant relative of the garden flower called bleeding hearts, and a very close relative of another spring wildflower called Dutchman's Breeches.
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:15 PM   #7
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We have LOTS of spring-blooming violet species. Here's one of the more unusual ones. Can you see why it's called Spurred Violet? That long spur holds nectar - so Spurred Violets are pollinated by long-tongued butterflies .
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:16 PM   #8
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Here's another wildflower with a spur - it's Spring Larkspur. It's also called "staggers," because of the effect it has on grazing cattle.
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:17 PM   #9
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There are many native Trilliums blooming here in the early spring. Here are two samples - Sweet White Trillium and Toadshade Trillium - to illustrate the two common flower patterns.
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Old May 9, 2016, 9:17 PM   #10
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And here's a Trout Lily in full bloom - the name comes from the leaves which are speckled like a trout!
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