Minnehaha phenology April 26 2019

Herewith I am continuing to create a list of the plants, especially the flowering plants, in Minnehaha Park.

Spring ephemerals are those plants which burst into bloom right quick before the trees leaf out.

Suddenly the forest floor is carpeted with green. Quite a lot of these plants are bloodroot.

The Bloodroot is one of the plants that shows up in early spring, then disappears by early summer.  Known as Sanguinaria canadensis, it is rather poisonous.  It seems so shy of flowering as it comes up.

Bloodroot sends up its flower wrapped in its single leaf.

The single leaf unfurls and the blossom opens.

Bloodroot grows in large and small patches in Minnehaha Park.
The trillium has yet to bloom in Minnehaha park in late April, but it is clearly considering it.

Trillium grandiflorum is also called the wake robin.  In Minneapolis the robins are thoroughly woke long before the trillium blossoms, but perhaps the name refers to one of those timing things, like picking morels when the lilac leaves are the size of a squirrel’s ear.

The cutleaf toothwort, which is apparently common but hitherto unknown by me. And I’m pretty good at this.

The cutleaf toothwort or Cardamine concatenata. I had to ask the Internet hive mind what this was.  There are large patches of it below the creek at Minnehaha.

In many places in the park, the false rue anemone (or Enemion biternatum) is found commingled with the cutleaf toothwort or other plants.

False rue anemone has petals five and leaves that look like columbine.  This picture also has a nice look at the bloodroot’s leave, as well as some small trilliums and some trout lilies.  The bloodroot’s flowering period is very very short.  Here, its seed pods are already forming.

I really expected the Latin name for the false rue anemone to have something like “aquilegifolium” in it, to indicate that the leaves look like columbine.  But what do I know, anyway.

The trout lily takes its name from the spots-ness of its leaf. It mostly just puts up one ephemeral leaf, then gives up and goes back to bed.  Just one bud is visible in this picture. Here it is mingling with Virginia waterleaf.

If you took a whole lot of longish, thinnish leaves and stuck them stem down in the ground, it would look like a great carpet of trout lily, Erythronium albidum.  The blooms are so relatively infrequent that they appear as a marvelous surprise.

The trout lily in blossom. Here one can see that the plant might have as many as two leaves.

The spring rains have continued to make the lower reaches of the park a soggy mess. The water is much higher than it was 10 days ago.

The fourth bridge is almost completely submerged.

There’s no one wading across to reach the railings and the other side of the creek on a day when the creek is this high.  On the upstream (right) side, there’s a streak of white foam where the water is backed up, unable to flow under the bridge.

Though the water is obviously higher than I saw on April 16th, there were signs that it had receded.  The wet mud next to the floodwaters had lots of animal prints in it.

The footprints of a bird. I don’t know which one. Pigeon, perhaps?

I thought I saw raccoon prints, too, but perhaps they were dog prints.  I am not much of a tracker.

 

Duck prints, surely.

I didn’t see who made these prints, but I have seen mallards in the creek near here.

The marsh marigold is a lovely cheerful yellow color. True to its name, the it grows in spongy wet places.  The big rough leaves also seen here are the leaves of the skunk cabbage, which grows after the red flowering business dies away.

There are a couple of large and lovely colonies of marsh marigolds, Caltha palustris along the creek.  Photographing them up close is tricky because they are in such very wet conditions.  And there is so much buckthorn between the path and the marshy spots that its hard to photograph them from afar, too.

Wild ginger has this insignificant flower that always reminds me of an acorn. What you see here is actually the sepal; the flower is within.

Asarum canadense or the wild ginger is not food, so do not eat.  This is an easy to grow garden plant.  Was surprised to read that it is threatened in Maine.

Sedge, flowering.

A very useful Minnesota wildflower identification site has 183 sedges listed.  Perhaps I’ll figure out which one this is some day.

(The complete list, in alphabetical order.)

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