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THE WORLD OF HERBS
J. E. Kinghorn

"Take A Walk On The Wild Side". Mother Natures Wild Side That Is.

April and May is a great time of he year to discover wild flowers indigenous to our area.  Red wild flowers are easy to spot and here are two that are in flower now.  

" A woodland walk,
A quest of river-grapes, a mocking thrush,
A wild rose or rock loving columbine,
Salve my worst wounds,"

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Wild Columbine- (Aquilegia canadensis)
Family: Crowfoot-Ranunculaceae
Habitat: Rocky woodland
Bloom period-April-July
Other Names: Meeting-house, Capon's-tail, Lady's shoes.
Other species:  Blue Columbine

Twelve to eighteen inches high.  Stems are branching and leaves are olive green in color, lobed and divided.  The flowers are large; bright red/orange color; yellow within and appear nodding.  
Calyx-of five red petals like sepals.
Corolla-of five petals in the form of large hollow spurs, which are red without and yellow within.
Stamens-numerous.  
Pistils-five, with slender styles.
The name columbine is derived from columba- a dove. Aquilegia-derived from the Latin 'Aquila, meaning Eagle. Some believe that it is associated with the bird like claws of the blossom; while others maintain that it refers to the resemblance of its nectaries to the heads of doves drinking at a fountain.
It reminds me of a very ornate bell.

Wake Robin-Trillium erectum
Family: Lily- liliaceae
Habitat: Open wood, hills and swamps. Grows in rich, cool, damp soil.  
Bloom period: April-June
Other Names: Birthroot, Nose-bleed.
Other Species: Nodding Trillium, dwarf white trillium, painted trillium.
Seven to fifteen inches high. Stems are stout from a tuber like rootstock.  Leaves broadly ovate; three in a spiral a short distance below the flower. Flower; single usually purplish red, occasionally light pink or pale green.
Calyx-three spreading green sepals.
Corolla-Three large lance shaped petals.
Stamens- Six.  
Pistil- One ,with three large spreading stigmas.  
Fruit- large oval single reddish berry.

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