This year as part of the 25th Anniversary of Sylvan Solace Preserve, I’ve decided to try to catalogue all of the various wildflowers found on the preserve (including trees and shrubs). An undertaking such as this requires planning and commitment. Depending on weather conditions, some flowers may begin blooming as early as February and the latest blooms may not appear until late September or early October (or even later). Some species will bloom for as little as twenty-four hours and can be missed entirely I’m not diligent. Each species has its own unique habitat requirements of soil, moisture, and light so I have to plan ahead to search specific areas when I think species will be blooming. It helps to have some preexisting knowledge but it also means that I have to perform advance scouting to try to track down every bloom.
I’ll share with you each species that I find including the date I first discovered them. I will not be sharing the exact location of these blooms – some species may be represented by a single bloom or they may grow on sensitive terrain that cannot handle more than a few footfalls without becoming degraded. If you seriously want to know the location of a flower reach out to me by email (email@example.com) and I will probably be willing to share it with you. My intent is not to hoard information but rather to share my love of wildflowers while still protecting the resource.
Do I have a goal in mind for the number of species, I’ll find? The short answer is, yes, I have a goal (but I’m not sharing it). Ultimately this is not about the numbers; it’s about the experience and the thrill of discovery. I hope you’ll join me in this journey.
#1 Skunk Cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) – photographed 19 March 2021
#2 Red Maple (Acer rubrum) – photographed 02 April 2021
#3 Speckled Alder (Alnus incana) – photographed 02 April 2021
#4 Pennsylvania Bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica) – photographed 07 April 2021
#5 Bigtooth Aspen (Populus grandidentata) – photographed 07 April 2021
#6 Northern Spicebush (Lindera benzoin) – photographed 07 April 2021
#7 Boxelder (Acer negundo) – photographed 12 April 2021
#8 Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum) – photographed 12 April 2021
#9 Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) – photographed 12 April 2021
#10 Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) – photographed 12 April 2021
#11 Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris) – photographed 12 April 2021
#12 Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) – photographed 12 April 2021
#13 American Hornbeam (Caprinus caroliniana) – photographed 12 April 2021
That’s it for the first (tree heavy) installment of the Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace. I’ll post the next installment as soon as I have a batch to share.