It’s time to share a few more images and info from one my hikes. I really enjoy capturing and sharing the beauty of the Native Wildflowers that grace the canyons that line the Ohio River here in Southern Indiana especially from my favorite places to shoot Clifty Falls Sate Park!!
Clifty Falls has one the most prolific blooms that I have come across, and believe me I have witnessed some great places for wildflowers, the park ranks right up there with anyplace in the Midwest and it’s always a joy walking the trails and photographing the incredible display of wildflowers that the park provides !!
The flower I am focused on today is the Dutchman’s Breeches, according to the USDA…
Dicentra cucullaria (Dutchman’s breeches) is an herbaceous perennial of the Fumariaceae family. This species has many common names depending on which part of the country you come from. One of its common names, Little Blue Staggers, is derived from its ability to induce drunken staggering if cattle graze on it, due to narcotic and toxic substances in the poppy-related genus. Bleeding heart is another common name.
This native wildflower is common throughout the eastern United States though rarer in the Pacific Northwest. The western populations of Dicentra cucullaria appear to have been separated from the eastern ones for at least one thousand years according to the Flora of North America. The western plants are somewhat coarser in appearance but generally indistinguishable from their eastern counterparts. In Idaho, the species often grows along stream corridors in gravely banks well above the waterline. It is also occurs in Washington and Oregon.
Dutchman’s Breeches blooms in the early spring from March to April. Flowers are white to pink and resemble a pair of pantaloons hanging upside down. The flowers wilt almost immediately upon picking so they should not be collected in the wild. The one or more finely compound leaves make the plant appear fern-like. This perennial species has rice-like seed bulbs and is an attractive addition to any garden in moist shady areas.
So there is a brief description and now here a couple images of this wonderful little wildflower. Hope you enjoy the info and pics and thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!
Here is another example of a really cool little wildflower that grows at Clifty Falls State Park, and it is Squirrel Corn, very unique structure in this little gem and it makes for some really great photography.
According to the Kentucky Native Plant Association..
The foliage of this early spring wildflower is easily mistaken with the foliage of its close cousin, Dutchman’s Breeches (D. cucullaria). The easiest way to tell the plants apart is via the flowers, but the leaves of squirrel corn are typically shorter and there is one compound leaf per flowering stem compared to Dutchman’s breeches which has longer leaves and there are typically two leaves per flowering stem. In addition, squirrel corn leaves have a tendency to have a more “open” appearance. Like many members of the fumitory family, these plants are highly toxic and make for good garden plants because mammals, even deer, do not like to graze on them. The leaves appear early in the growing season and completely disappear by mid-May but they can form dense colonies when established in the garden. The plants are typically about 6″ tall and squirrel corn gets its common name from the underground food storage structures that look like corn kernels. The flowers are quite distinctive and look like small hearts and the plant is named Dicentra which refers to the two spurs on the flowers and canadensis means from Canada.
This plant is easy to grow in the garden and it is one of those species that must be inter-planted with ferns or later blooming species because it is so ephemeral in nature. Squirrel corn had great significance as a Love Charm to the Mennominee Indians and a young man would throw the flowers to his intended love or chew the roots which gave a perfumed smell in the face of the woman causing her to follow him from that time forward. The Onondaga called this plant the “Ghost corn” believing it was “food for the spirits.” Like trilliums, the seed of this group is dispersed by ants because the seeds contain a fatty substance called elaisome, which is highly relished by ants. At the nest the elaisomes are eaten and the seeds are left to germinate. The plants are primarily pollinated by bumblebees. Historically the plant was used as a tonic and for use in treating syphilis.
So there is really good description of the wildflower and now for a couple of images. Thanks for stopping by and taking a look !!
Here are a couple shots of another example of one of the many beautiful wildflowers that line the canyons and gorges of Clifty Falls State Park in Madison Indiana. This great little flower is the Trout Lily named for the patterns on the leafs of the plant that resemble the patterns on a trout and is not the easiest wildflower to photograph because of the nodding nature of the bloom.
Since I am not a expert on the science of flowers I will leave the description this time to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center…
A pair of brownish-mottled leaves sheath the base of a stalk that bears a solitary, nodding flower, yellow inside, bronzy outside. This colony-forming perennial sends up two, 3-6 in., elliptic, maroon-mottled leaves and a slightly taller stalk bearing a single, nodding, yellow flower. Petals and sepals are bent backwards exposing six brown stamens. Single-leaved, non-flowering plants also occur, either too young or too crowded to flower.
Recognized by its brown-mottled leaves, this is one of our most common spring ephemeral wildflowers, and it is found in sizable colonies. The common name (Dogtooth Violet) refers to the toothlike shape of the white underground bulb. The name Trout Lily (a more suitable name since the flower is not a Violet) refers to the similarity between the leaf markings and those of the brown or brook trout. The White Dogtooth Violet (E. albidum) has narrow, mottled leaves and white, bell-shaped flowers, often tinged with lavender on the outside. It is found from southern Ontario to Georgia, west to Kentucky, Missouri, and Oklahoma, and north to Minnesota. Minnesota Adders Tongue (E. propullans), found only in Minnesota, has pink flowers and produces a small bulb midway up the stem.
So here are a couple images that I captured of the Trout Lily hopefully it this post will give you enough info to be able to hike and enjoy these beautiful little wildflowers !!
Rue Anemone is another example of a beautiful little wildflower that grows at Clifty Falls State Park in Madison Indiana according to Wikipedia..
T. thalictroides is a hairless plant growing from tuberous roots, with upright 10-30 cm tall, stems which end with flowers. The basal leaves have 10 to 30 cm long petioles and leaf blades that are 2×-ternately compound. The leaflets are widely rounded in shape and the ends are three lobed.
It flowers in early spring and the flowers are borne singularly, or in umbel-like inflorescences with 3 to 6 flowers. The flowers have short stems that hold the fully opened flowers above the foliage. The involucral bracts are 3-foliolate, and shaped like the leaves. The showy rounded flowers have many yellow stamens in the middle, and a cup of white to pinkish-lavender sepals.
Originally described as Anemone thalictroides by Linnaeus in 1753. It was transferred to a new, monospecific genus, Anemonella, by Édouard Spach in 1839. Although similar to plants in the genus Thalictrum, Sprach considered the diminutive size, umbelliform inflorescence, and tuberous roots of this species to be distinctive enough to designate a new genus. JRB Boivin considered this distinction suspect, and transferred the species to the genus Thalictrum in 1957. Molecular evidence supports the placement of the species within Thalictrum, and this placement is accepted by several modern treatments.
Wildflower photography isn’t that bad it is the wildflower identification that is really tough to me, you wouldn’t believe how many photographs I have taken only to have to change the title later because I was wrong on the id !!
There is a vast amount of wonderful resources out there to help with your identification of the different species and it has helped me tremendously but for now I will leave that part of wildflowers to the experts lol !!
So here are a couple examples of the Rue Anemone, I hope, and if I am wrong feel free to correct me and don’t forget to click on the image to view the detail in the bloom !!
What kind of fool would drive over 900 miles hike 20+ miles in less than desirable weather conditions all this covered in poison ivy then wake up the next day and hike 3 more miles just to photograph more wildflowers. The same fool sitting behind the keyboard right now !!
When the time is right you have to go where the bloom is and the flowers happen to be blooming here in Madison Indiana and also at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park now so there is little time for activities such as sleep, paying bills and work lol !!
So far I have captured a lot of great images so I will start posting them as they get processed, the first ones will come from here in Southern Indiana at Clifty Falls State Park . Every year I tend to miss these little gems that tend to bloom earlier than the other plants but with the late spring and cold temps I was right on time for this variety for once, Bloodroot is the flower and according to Wikipedia…
Sanguinaria canadensis, bloodroot, is a perennial, herbaceous flowering plant native to eastern North America. It is the only species in the genus Sanguinaria, included in the family Papaveraceae, and most closely related to Eomecon of eastern Asia.
Sanguinaria canadensis is also known as bloodwort, red puccoon root, and sometimes pauson. It has also been known as tetterwort in the US, although that name is used in Britain to refer to Chelidonium majus. Plants are variable in leaf and flower shape and have in the past been separated out as different subspecies due to these variable shapes. Currently most taxonomic treatments lump these different forms into one highly variable species. In bloodroot, the juice is red and poisonous.
Sanguinaria canadensis, is a variable species growing from 20–50 centimetres (7.9–19.7 in) tall, normally with one large, sheath-like basal multi-lobed leaf up to 12 centimetres (4.7 in) across. Bloodroot stores sap in an orange colored rhizome, that grows shallowly under or at the soil surface. Over many years of growth, the branching rhizome can grow into a large colony. Plants start to bloom before the foliage unfolds in early spring and after blooming the leaves expand to their full size and go summer dormant in mid to late summer.
The flowers are produced from March to May, with 8-12 delicate white petals and yellow reproductive parts. The flowers appear over clasping leaves while blooming. The flowers are pollinated by small bees and flies, seeds develop in elongated green pods 40 to 60 mm in length and ripen before the foliage goes dormant. The seeds are round in shape and when ripe are black to orange-red in color.
Sanguinaria canadensis plants are found growing in moist to dry woods and thickets, often on flood plains and near shores or streams on slopes. They grow less frequently in clearings and meadows or on dunes, and are rarely found in disturbed sites. Deer will feed on the plants in early spring.
Bloodroot is one of many plants whose seeds are spread by ants, a process called myrmecochory. The seeds have a fleshy organ called an elaiosome that attracts ants. The ants take the seeds to their nest, where they eat the elaiosomes, and put the seeds in their nest debris, where they are protected until they germinate. They also get the added bonus of growing in a medium made richer by the ant nest debris.
Sanguinaria canadensis is cultivated as an ornamental plant. The double flowering forms are prized by gardeners for their large showy white flowers, which are produced very early in the gardening season. Bloodroot flower petals are shed within a day or two of pollination so the flower display is short lived. The double forms bloom much longer than the normal forms, the double flowers are made up of stamens that have been changed into petal looking like parts, making pollination more difficult.
Bloodroot produces benzylisoquinoline alkaloids, primarily the toxin sanguinarine. The alkaloids are transported to and stored in the rhizome. Comparing the biosynthesis of morphine and sanguinarine, the final intermediate in common is (S)-reticuline. A number of plants in Papaveraceae and Ranunculaceae, as well as plants in the genus Colchicum (family Colchicaceae) and genus Chondodendron (family Menispermaceae), also produce such benzylisoquinoline alkaloids.
Plant geneticists have identified and sequenced genes which produce the enzymes required for this production. One enzyme involved is CYP80B1, which produces (S)-3′-hydroxy-N-methylcoclaurine and mendococlaurine from (S)-N-methylcoclaurine.
Sanguinarine kills animal cells by blocking the action of Na+/K+-ATPase transmembrane proteins. As a result, applying bloodroot to the skin may destroy tissue and lead to the formation of a large scab, called an eschar. Bloodroot and its extracts are thus considered escharotic.
Internal use is inadvisable. Applying escharotic agents, including bloodroot, to the skin is sometimes suggested as a home treatment for skin cancer, these attempts can be severely disfiguring. Salves derived from bloodroot cannot be relied on to remove an entire malignant tumor. Microscopic tumor deposits may remain after visible tumor tissue is burned away, and case reports have shown that in such instances tumor has recurred and/or metastasized.
Numerous pre-clinical in vitro studies have demonstrated that sanguinarine causes targeted apoptosis in human cancer cells with little reaction from normal cells, and recommend future study of sanguinarine as a potential cancer treatment
In physician William Cook’s 1869 work The Physiomedical Dispensatory is recorded a chapter on the uses and preparations of bloodroot, which described tinctures and extractions, and also included at least the following cautionary report:The U. S. Dispensatory says four persons lost their lives at Bellevue Hospital, New York, by drinking largely of blood root tincture in mistake for ardent spirits […]
Greater Celandine (Chelidonium majus), a member of the Poppy family (Papaveraceae) was used in Colonial America as a wart remedy. Bloodroot has been similarly applied in the past. This may explain the multiple American and British definitions of “Tetterwort” in 1913.
Bloodroot extracts have also been promoted by some supplement companies as a treatment or cure for cancer, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has listed some of these products among its “187 Fake Cancer ‘Cures’ Consumers Should Avoid”. Indeed, far from curing cancer, products containing bloodroot are strongly associated with the development of oral leukoplakia, which is a premalignant lesion that may develop into oral cancer.
Commercial uses of sanguinarine and bloodroot extract include dental hygiene products. The United States FDA has approved the inclusion of sanguinarine in toothpastes as an antibacterial or anti-plaque agent.[non-primary source needed][non-primary source needed] However, the use of sanguinaria in oral hygiene products is associated with the development of oral leukoplakia, a premalignant lesion which may develop into oral cancer. On 24 Nov 2003, the Colgate-Palmolive Company of Piscataway, New Jersey, United States commented by memorandum to the United States Food and Drug Administration that then-proposed rules for levels of sanguinarine in mouthwash and dental wash products were lower than necessary. However, this conclusion is controversial.
Some animal food additives sold and distributed in Europe such as Phytobiotics’ Sangrovit contain sanguinarine and chelerythrine. On 14 May 2003, Cat Holmes reported in Georgia Faces that Jim Affolter and Selima Campbell, horticulturists at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, were meeting with Phytobiotics to relate their research into commercial cultivation of bloodroot.
Bloodroot is a popular red natural dye used by Native American artists, especially among southeastern rivercane basketmakers. The blood of the root (when cut open) was used as a dye. A break in the surface of the plant, especially the roots, reveals a reddish sap.
Ok I know that is way too much info but of course I know you skipped over it to the see the pics lol !!
So thanks for stopping by and taking a look and here are couple images of the Bloodroot to go along with the info.