Green Thumbs: Plant hunters of the deep woodlands at London Town

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum)

For this week’s Wednesday post, we are switching gears from #CompatibleCompanions to #GreenThumbs. I couldn't be more thrilled to share a brief story of two 'plant hunters' that worked hard early spring. Their efforts reaped in rewards that my lens captured this week: Trout Lily, Barrenwort and 'The Bride'!

Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) spread out at the base of the woodlands.

Trout Lilly, Erythronium americanum, is a precious woodland ephemeral that is found in hardwood forests composed of rich decaying matter. At London Town, the Trout Lily is doing well in a ravine with canopy layers of Tulips trees, Willow Oaks and Magnolias. The leaf litter is rich, but the overgrown stilt grass and other invasives were making it impossible for the Lilies to emerge and complete its life cycle before the canopies fill up. Thanks to volunteers Beverly Rogers and Shirley Hatch's tireless efforts to clean out a ravine filled with invasives, the Trout Lily made it out beautifully this year, as did the Barrenworts.

Shirley and Bev have been stewards of the woodlands for over 20 years. The reference of 'plant hunters' suits them aptly, because they knew exactly where in the woodland gardens, the population of the Trout Lily and Barrenworts existed and then worked hard to go on their treasure hunt to restore their habitat.

Barrenwort 'Epimedium sps. (White and yellow flowers)

Barrenworts (Epimediums sps.) have high botanical as well as medicinal value. They have two sets of four distinct sepals and four petals. Their leaves are arrowhead shaped and have a stunning bronze color in the fall. Epimediums are to treasure in a woodland!

Barrenwort, Epimedium sps. (White flowers)

I saved you the best story for the last: a hunt for 'The Bride'. Shirley insisted that there once existed a pretty white flower bush in the ravine, that seemed completely lost now.

Exochorda x macrantha is a neat deciduous shrub, grows well in part shade and fills up profusely with dainty white flowers in early spring. With her tireless efforts, Shirley finally found 'The Bride' and now the wait for the blooms began (it was hard to ID the deciduous plant). Shirley was successful, I was able to capture 'The Bride' in bloom this week!

'The Bride', Exochorda x macrantha

Thanks to our dedicated plant hunters, the habitats of 'The bride', Barrenworts and the Trout Lily are now invasive free. This is stewardship and #GreenThumbs to its best! I must mention that through their plant hunting process, their shared love of stewardship to the woodland gardens and their GreenCompanionship was a pleasure to observe. Thank you Bev and Shirley, now I know where 'The Bride' resides in the woodlands.

Upper canopy layer of the Trout Lily, Barrenwort and 'The Bride'. Yellow flowers are of, Magnolia 'Elizabeth'.

#troutlily #barrenwort #thebride #epimedium #erythroniumamericanum

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