April Showers bring...

April showers bring May flowers...  It's been rainy lately but here are some of my favorite photos from my hikes in May.

Common White Violet (Viola striata) -
There are still a lot of violets around the stream bottoms and in my experience the Common White Violets tend to blossom later into the spring than many of the yellow and blue varieties.

Woodland Stonecrop (Sedum ternatum) -
Woodland Stonecrop is a small "cluster-like" flower that is very low to the ground and easy to miss.  Woodland Stonecrop flowers are often found on rock outcroppings, hence their name.

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea) - Non Native - 
Ground Ivy also has very small flowers but will often grow in large colonies making it easy to find them.  This non-native plant was originally from Europe and southwestern Asia and is now very common in North America.  Many cultures still eat the leaves as a salad green.

Virginia Bluebells (Mertensia virginica)
I personally have only found Virginia Bluebells one spot in the Little Sewickley Creek watershed down on the floodplain in the moist, rich soils that the plant prefers.  This photo was taken after a few days of heavy rain, so the blossoms are looking a little beat up.

May Apple (Podophyllum peltatum) -
May Apples are ubiquitous throughout our region and their umbrella-like leaves are easily recognizable by even the most inexperienced woodsman.  The flowers are very pretty and are typically nodding, meaning that I practically have to lie on the ground to get a good picture.  As I did with this one.

Small Flower Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis laxa) -
I'm starting to see more and more Small Flower Forget-Me-Nots along the stream and even on small alluvial islands formed in the stream itself.  These tiny blue flowers are very pretty and one of the few Forget-Me-Nots native to our area.  They are most definitely water lovers and can even grow in shallow water.

Wild Blue Phlox (Phlox divaricata) -
Wild Blue Phlox, also known as Woodland Phlox, typically appears in the late spring and its large purplish-blue flowers easily recognizable.  Many cultivated species are used in home landscaping, but the flowers are smaller and come in a greater variety of colors.

Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea) -
Golden Ragwort is a pretty yellow wildflower I've only recently identified.  Native to our area, I tend to find it along trails and old logging roads in near to full sun.

Common Blue Violet (Viola sororia) -
There are still a few Common Blue Violets out in the woods, but I think we're nearing the end of their flowering season.  Like all violets, the flowers and leaves are edible and were even used for some medicinal purposes by Native Americans.

Philadelphia Fleabane (Erigeron philadelphicus) -
Also known as Common Fleabane, Philadelphia Fleabane is just starting to show up in our woods.  The daisy-like flowers have very thin petals that can be white or purple or a combination of both and are very pretty.

More Pictures:

Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Common White Violet (Viola striata)

Small Flower Forget-Me-Nots (Myosotis laxa)

Golden Ragwort (Packera aurea)