The only two that are truly ephemeral are Claytonia and Erythronium. All the others do not die back after flowering. Three ephemerals not mentioned are: Mertensia virginianum, Dicenta canadensis and Dicentra cucullaria.
Even professionals define ephemeral in different ways! I have asked both Erica Glasner and Judith Larner Lowry the question, What are Ephemerals? They both say that they are annuals or perennials but both have the trait of blooming briefly in the spring and dying back to the ground after a short growth. I thought after hearing their answers that it was more of a layman's term, I guess.
I'd love it if you'd look at my list of ephemerals in my recent post and tell me which ones are truly defined as that.
These are what I have 'called' Spring Ephemeral's in the foothills of California, only because they seem to be so fleeting. They're all beginning to sprout now and I'm so thankful for their beauty after such a long winter and rainy spring.
All those that I mentioned grow in my woods. This was never intended to be a treatise or definition of ephemerals. This was a spring walk in my woods, and if I offended your understanding of ephemera in any way, I apologise. The only one that I did mention that leaves any trace much after the end of June would be the Jacks-in-Pulpit, and then it is only a stalk of berries.
Sue, I have no knowledge of the plants much west of the Mississippi, but your photos are lovely.
I love seeing what grows in your woods, too. I guess we are both lucky to be able to live where the wild things are. I know I am! And I somehow love the sound of the word "ephemeral". I'm glad you wrote this article so when people are out walking in the woods anywhere they know that the flowers they are seeing may be for their eyes only!