Forest plants, including 1 in need of a name

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Last weekend, I took these photos of plants growing in the forest.
Photo 1 shows Erythronium americanum (Trout lily, Yellow trout lily, Yellow dogtooth violet) growing on a mossy rock.
I think photo 2 shows Symplocarpus foetidus (skunk cabbage) growing in a seepage area populated by the non-native Ranunculus ficaria (lesser Celandine).
Photo 3 is a mystery to me; does anyone recognize it?
Photos 4 and 5 are lesser Celandine, I think.

Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1 Thumbnail by Muddy1
Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Muddy, I think your mystery plant is an Avens. If you look closely at the leaves, you can see tiny leaflets interspersed between the large leaflets. (The "stem" and all the "leaves" on it actually make up a compound leaf.) Some Avens (Geum) species display this.

To verify that #4 & #5 are lesser Celandine, a horrible invasive, dig up a plant and look for tiny, white, onion-like bulbs about the size of pearled barley.

Glad to see that the Trout Lilies are up. Don't think you will see blooms on the ones in your photo. Plants only bloom when they produce 2 leaves.

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Thanks, greenthumb; I think you're right. I'll try to catch it in bloom so I can find out what species of Avens it is.

I just so happen to have one of those yellow-flowered plants on my desk, and it does indeed have that kind of bulb, so lesser Celandine it is.

About the Trout Lilies: I was wondering why I never saw any in bloom last year even though there are a lot in the forest. I thought I had just missed the blooming period although, come to think of it, I didn't see any remnants of flowers. Why do some only have 1 leaf; are they immature?

Lucketts, VA(Zone 7a)

Don't know if it is a maturity issue. I have seen drifts of Trout Lilies with only a couple of blooms scattered in, while other times I have seen a carpet of blooms. Could be an environmental influence; Jack-In-The-Pulpit plants can change gender from year to year.

annapolis, MD(Zone 7b)

Dog Tooth Violet leaves emerge sometimes long before flowers (sometimes a month or more...) They only open bloom when sunny and close at dusk light levels. If not blooming and sunny, look for double leaf as these are mature enough to bloom. Single leafs can take 3-4 years to begin to bloom. Queen bees depend on pollen for food in early spring. The woods I grew up in No. Illinois had patches of Dog Tooth Violets both the white flowered and the yellow (americans?)

You might enjoy The Wolf Creek Trout Lily Preserve

I love what the authors have written as It explains to me why I so long to be in my childhood woods in the Spring as it is my 'sense of time and place' where I was 'enabled into the landscape'

"This is a place of spectacular beauty, a place that entirely transcends the monotonous landscapes of the developments and highways, the attempts at landscaping and the increasing lack of a sense of place that is dominating the developed vistas of America at this time. A place like this gives us a sense of where we are and when; it is a place where we retain a perspective on the location and the season, on the speciation found in the natural world around us. When we find ourselves marveling in the beauty of other species and in the places we find, discover and seek them out, we are further enlightened and enabled into the landscape.

This is one of those places, so unique in its location, and so rare and abundant, a place similar to this is usually found hundreds of miles north in the Appalachian Mountains. Why this is located here in Southern Georgia is possibly related to the Ice Ages. An astounding place such as this makes us think of botanical history in relation to geological history; an exercise that helps us stretch our minds into the milleniums past; here is a place where we see beauty and excite fascination in the times that have existed long before us."

Vienna, VA(Zone 7a)

Coleup, that really puts into words what I feel when I walk into the forest. It's as if weight falls from my shoulders. After approximately 50 feet along what passes for a path, I am totally immersed in my environment, both because I want to be, and because if I don't I will fall over huge exposed tree roots and risk serious bodily injury !

I'll take a better look at the Trout Lilies next time I'm out there and see if there are any with 2 leaves or, better yet, 2 leaves and buds.

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