Monday, May 5, 2008

Forest Finds

Sorry this blog has been so sluggish lately. My internet access, time and energy has been limited and my camera batteries have been dead for some time (and my charger's at the cabin). Lame, I know. These pictures I took with my sister's camera (except the fern above, which was taken by Katie, herself) in the Arcata Community Forest.

The forests are green and fresh right now. While trilliums are fading, ferns (like Blechnum splicant photographed by my sister, above) are still unfurling, clintonias are nearing bloom, and many of the more obscure wildflowers have fully arrived.

This is twisted stalk, Streptopus amplexifolius var. americanus. Rare around here.

Mitella caulescens (I have this as a houseplant and it's forming flowers!)

Rubus spectabilis whose pink petals have fallen. It's now forming a berry.

Mitella ovalis is already producing it's strange seed in splash cups (appropriately adapted to rain dispersal).
Most of the Petasites frigidis has gone to seed. They're like compound dandelions, but the centers are a dark gold color. Very beautiful in the sunlight.


Frances, said...

Your plants in the forest are so exotic to me. Wonderful photos and I love the rain cups.

Frances at Faire Garden

Ellen said...

I've never seen anything like those splash cool! I'm fascinated by how different the flora is in your woods. In PA the bracken ferns are emerging, the Mayapple is barely above ground (although it's in bloom in NYC) and the bloodroot should be open by the weekend. I'm awaiting the milkweed shoots; can't wait to cook up those delicious spears of green-ness. Do you have a native milkweed in your woods?

Gardener of La Mancha said...

This is a tiny, tiny sample of the forest plants of Humboldt County. So if you think these are cool, just wait… :)

Ellen, I don’t see milkweed in the forests around here, it’s usually in more open areas further inland. We don’t have mayapple or bloodroot either, but we have lots of bracken.

Brent said...

I once read a cooking article extolling the virtues of fresh fiddleheads (in cooking dialect it's the part of the fern that you picture above with perhaps a few more days growth).

Sadly, I've only one seen them for sale in the grocery store and I didn't act quickly enough.

Have you ever tried them?

Gardener of La Mancha said...

No, I've never tried fiddleheads. I once read this article on how they're carcinogenic, so I've steered cleared. But I'd try it if anyone has a good recipe and if anyone can assure me that the species around here are ok to eat. Blechnum spicant, Woodwardia fimbriata, Polystichum munitum, Pteridifolium aquilinum, and Athyrium felix-femina are the species around here that might be worth trying.