Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 30, 2011 Michigan Wildflowers within 50 miles of Goshen

Each Spring we visit 4-5 Michigan woods within easy driving distance. On April 30 and May 1 we joined over 40 members of the Michigan Nature Association (MNA) to visit five MNA woods.  Here's what we saw on Saturday in two fine woods that are relatively easy to get to from Goshen.

Trillium Ravine is within a mile of the 2nd Michigan exit of US 31.  (Click on Trillium Ravine for directions.) The preserve's name succinctly tells what you see there.  In addition to the Large-flowered Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum, pictured above, there are two maroon species --- Toad Trillium, T. sessile and Prairie Trillium  T. recurvatum.  The USDA Plants Database lists both T. sessile and T. recurvatum as"threatened" for Michigan, but not for Indiana.
Toad Trillium
 Note above that Toad Trillium leaves have no stalks (petioles), and below that Prairie Trillium leaves  have short stalks.
Prairie Trillium
Also note that the Prairie Trillium sepals (i.e., the green structures below the maroon petals) curve down, but the Toad Trillium sepals are horizontal.  The photo below pictures both species.

Prairie Trillium above and Toad Trillium below
Prairie Trillium tends to be taller than Toad Trillium.

Because Homo sapiens has not disrupted Trillium Ravine much over the years, there is a nice diversity of wildflowers.  Below are representatives.
False Rue Anemone, Enemion biternatum
Blue Cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides
Squirrel Corn, Dicentra canadensis
Dowagiac Woods is huge ---384acres, most of which has been lightly logged and never grazed.  That accounts for the big trees and dominantly green forest floor with a great diversity of native wildflowers; we found 27 species in bloom. 
Entrance to the Michigan Nature Association nature preserve

Enjoying the magnificent Dowagiac Woods

In search of those "first of the year", FOY, wildflowers

Three wildflowers here were our FOY, i.e., "first of the year":  Dwarf Ginseng - Panax trifolius, Blue-eyed Mary - Collinsia verna, and Two-leaved Toothwort, Cardamine diphylla.

Dwarf Ginseng (below) and Spring Beauty (above)
Blue-eyed Mary
Two-leaved Toothwort, surrounded by Wild Leek leaves
We have been seeing those pictured below in other woods.

Yellow Trout Lily and Dutchman's Breeches
Sharp-lobed Hepatica, Hepatica nobilis var. acuta
Large-flowered Bellwort, Uvularia grandiflora
Wood Anemone, Anemone quinquefolia
Long-spurred Violet, Viola rostrata
Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense
Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris
Other wildflowers we saw Saturday in Dowagiac Woods:

Common Blue Violet, Viola sororia
Yellow Violet, Viola pubescens
Large-flowered Trillium, Trillium grandiflorum
Toad Trillium, Trillium sessile
Cut-leaved Toothwort, Cardamine concatenata
Purple Springcress , Cardamine douglasii

Rue Anemone, Thalictrum thalictroides
False Rue Anemone, Enemion biternatum
Blue Cohosh, Caulophyllum thalictroides
Buttercup, Ranunculus species (?)
Bishop's Cap, Mitella diphylla
False Mermaid, Floerkia proserpinacoides
Squirrel Corn, Dicentra canadensis
Spoicebush, Lindera benzoin

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