Berry Go Round #27

Welcome to the 27th edition of Berry Go Round, a carnival of blogs about plants. The excellent 26th edition at Gravity’s Rainbow looked at some of the very first signs of spring, and now, with April, spring has truly sprung in much of the Northern Hemisphere.

Nevertheless, we’ll start with two posts that each still had a foot in winter.

  Ep4Hgtduqhc S8Qq34Hpe4I Aaaaaaaaahe 0Nl9E9N39By S1600 Ceratodon+Purpureus-1Justin Thomas at The Vasiculum spent some time this winter getting acquainted with mosses, and his introduction reminds me of the first time I ever looked at the moss world under a dissecting microscope. It was an entirely new universe! I’m sure you’ll enjoy Justin’s exploration of Winter Mosses.

Img 2209 1200X800Move now to spring-in-winter, and the fascinating flowers of Ozark witch hazel tree (Hamamelis vernalis), which Ted MacRae of Beetles in the Bush found in bloom in early March at Taum Sauk Mountain. He wonders how such a flower could be pollinated in midwinter – it generally blooms in January and February – and he watched it long enough to come up with an idea. Do you agree with his thought?

And now to the much anticipated spring wildflowers.

Dutchman’s Breeches

 Dicentra-cucullariaPost after post brought the delight of wildflowers on the forest floor or in spring meadows. A big favorite was Dutchman’s breeches, Dicentra cucullaria. Tom Arbour of The Ohio Nature Blog posted the image at the left, and three others saw them and photographed them:

– Janet Creamer of Midwest Native Plants, Gardens, and Wildlife found them at Clifton Gorge and John Brian State Park, (and while you’re there, note the sliced bloodroot root, among other wildflowers)

– Seabrooke Lecke of The Marvelous in Nature, noticing the promises of spring, found them in eastern Ontario, and

– Keith of Get Your Botany On! found a predator waiting for a prey in his Dutchman’s Breeches.

Trilliums, Trillies

Nina at Nature Remains wrote of clearing a Sunny Bank of shrubs to make room for shoots of tall trees of the forest:

Trillium-3Before the tall trees shade this brown bank, before the dimness of the woods becomes the home to thrush song, before the ferns and herbs emerge to drink in the shade of the summer forest, it is a place for wildflowers.

Among the wildflowers she saw was Trillium nivate, Snow Trillium, and many more “trillies” were seen this April, some by the same people that saw Dutchman’s Breeches.


Wayne at Niches has been hunting for a species of lady’s slippers (Cypripedium acaule) ever since he first saw them in flower in a different place fifteen years ago. He’s got them this year, close enough to observe and ponder on the pollination tricks of the orchid.

Across the ocean and in a flower store, GrrlScientist at Living the Scientific Life photographed an orchid Orchidee that makes her “… think of abstract art.” When you see the image, you most likely will, too.

And Lilacs

April always brings to my mind Walt Whitman, Abraham Lincoln, and lilacs blooming in the dooryard. But lilacs are not native to the US, and are cultivated, so toward the end of the month I suspected that not a single blogger would mention lilacs. And then along came The Phytophactor, who placed lilacs in their proper, botanical family perspective, that of Olives and Ashes.

Beyond the Temperate and Subtropical Northern Hemisphere

Although Panama is technically in the Northern Hemisphere (we’re about 9 degrees north of the equator), April here is more like an autumnal season further north. We’re heading into the rainy season, which is known as invierno, or winter, and we have nothing equivalent, in this season, of spring wildflowers. But we do have some spectacular and exotic flowers and fruits, many of them also found in South America. And so, let me introduce you to the work of a Russian now living in Brazil.

I have been following the work of Alex Popovkin on Flickr for some time. He’s doing remarkable work documenting the plants of the Atlantic Forest in Bahia, Brazil. I’ve seen his photos at CalPhotos and they almost inevitably turn up when I’m doing an image search for a tropical plant I’ve just identified. Now he has a website, Atlantic Forest, Bahia, Brazil, and I’d like to point to a post that exemplifies some of the exotic plants that he lives among. It’s a fruit in the bean family called Swartzia polita (R.S.Cowan) Torke, and the fleshy arils of its seeds are beloved by bats. I hope you enjoy meeting him as well as the fruit.

Next Berry Go Round

So ends this edition of Berry Go Round. While we have some hosts lined up for later in the year, we’re still looking someone to host the May edition, Berry Go Round #28. Please feel free to volunteer by sending a message from my Contact page, even if you’ve never hosted before. It’s fun, and you’ll get to read lots of interesting posts on plants while you’re at it.

Update: Greg Laden will be hosting Berry Go Round #28 at his blog, Greg Laden’s Blog. You may submit your posts through the Blog Carnival submission form or, if you prefer, you may send an email to berrygoround AT gmail DOT com containing the URL of your post  or of one that you would like to recommend. Meantime, do consider volunteering in the future, for all the reasons already mentioned.

8 thoughts on “Berry Go Round #27”

  1. Thanks, Ted. Spring wildflowers are pretty irresistible, so it was not too surprising to find so many excellent posts on them.

  2. I would have posted about lilacs, but the few I know of in town are just starting to bud out. It’s still so cold here – I walked home through two inches of fresh snow yesterday!

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