The forest’s first, tiny ephemeral flowers are blooming at Roundtop. In addition to the yellow dog-toothed violets I found several days ago, I’ve now added bloodwort, rue anemone and coltsfoot. All of these flowers are small and easy to overlook.
Coltsfoot is the most obvious of the three new species I found yesterday, and even that one is easy to overlook. The flower looks so much like dandelion that I believe a lot of people overlook it because of that. But though the flowers are similar, the similarity ends there. Coltsfoot is taller that most dandelions and the plant flowers before you find any leaves. Often, it is the first new flower I find in the spring, but not this year.
Bloodwort is another tiny plant. The flowers are about half an inch and the waxy, clover-shaped leaves are perhaps 2-3 inches. An entire plant may be only 3-4 inches long. I found just two plants of this one, within 4-5 feet of each other. Likely, there are more that I haven’t found yet.
Rue anemone is a common plant in my forest. Every year I have multiple plants that vary in shade from white to a nice lavender. This plant is no larger than bloodwort but it grows much more densely, and I often find 10-12 plants in one area. Even a tiny flower is hard to overlook when so many are grouped together.