As April gives way to May, we know that spring has finally arrived. At Wildwood, we are anticipating the return of deep green leaves and the arrival of brilliant wildflowers. Here are a few we’ve seen at Wildwood in the past.
1) Pink Lady’s Slipper (Cypripedium acaule)
This member of the orchid family is commonly found from May to July in the woods from Maine to Georgia, and all the way to the Mississippi River(USDA Forest Service). The pink lady’s slipper has a symbiotic (mutually beneficial) relationship with a fungus, which opens the seed and provides nutrients to the young seedling, as the seed itself does not provide any nutrients. When the plant is old enough to produce its own nutrients, the fungus will extract nutrients from the roots. This symbiosis is a common trait of the orchid family.
2) Great White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum
Commonly known as a wood lily, this trillium blooms from April to June (University of Texas at Austin). The flower is the largest of the trillium genus, which includes approximately 40 individual species. We look forward to seeing these around the Fossey Unit every year.
Do you have a favorite Wildwood flora? Let us know in the comments!