Botany Photo of the Day
In science, beauty. In beauty, science. Daily.

January 18, 2017: Botany Photo of the Day is being actively worked on. Returning soon!

Mertensia virginica

Mertensia virginica

Thank you to Wood_Owl@Flickr for submitting today's photograph (original image via Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool). Much appreciated, especially since I am on day 9 of 14 leading a botanizing tour and Katherine is busy with exams.

Virginia cowslip or Virginia bluebells is native to moist woods of eastern North America. Like the species of Cardamine in the previous entry, it is also a spring ephemeral.


In my back flower garden, there is a bright little patch of this early spring treat. Imagine my shock early this evening, when I spotted the neighbour's HUGE IRISH WOLFHOUND chowing down on my plant!

I went out to tell her to leave my flowers alone, but she gave me a quick look, shoved her nose back into the plant and took another healthy mouthful. She evidently loved the flavour of it. Let's hope it won't upset her tummy.

Oh to be a little wood sprite!

I understand that Virginia bluebells are a shy flower, preferring to live in the woods and near rivers. I live in town, but a few bluebells moved into my overgrown backyard last year and are doing fine, right beside the porch. I'm pleased to have them, but it's an embarrassing reflection on my lawn management skills.

Virginia bluebells are much nicer than any lawn - don't worry about your lawn management skills!

can you not hear the bells softly ringing in the moonlight
the flowers that bloom in the spring tra la tra la

the london tele newspaper website has lovely pictures
of the bluebells in england - thank you daniel

Bonnie - the best thing you could ever do is replace your lawn with a native wildflower meadow! Lawns are a direct contributor to excessive CO2 emissions (from mowing) and if you fertilize at all, even organic, you're contributing to excess nutrient runoff.

A yard filled with native herbs and shrubs will immediately and directly benefit the local insect, bird, and small mammal population. It provides food at the base of the food chain and shelter for those higher up the food chain.

I realize most people live where lawns are required by law or HOA, but I try to educate the folks who have the ability to convert their lawn to something else what the benefits are.

Sadly I am in a rental and must mow my front yard, but we've let the back yard stay wild this spring and the birds in particular have stuck around in large numbers.

Beautiful! These are my absolute, all time favorite flowers. Wish I could get them to grow in my yard!

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