SQUIRREL CORN





(Bicuculla Canadensis) Poppy family



Flowers - Irregular, greenish white tinged with rose, slightly

fragrant, heart-shaped, with 2 short rounded spurs, over 1/2 in.

long, nodding on a slender scape. Calyx of 2 scale-like sepals;

corolla heart-shaped at base, consisting of 4 petals in 2 united

pairs, a prominent crest on tips of inner ones; 6 stamens in 2

sets; style with 2-lobed stigma. Scape: Smooth, 6 to 12 in. high,

the rootstock bearing many small, round, yellow tubers like

kernels of corn. Leaves: All from root, delicate, compounded of 3

very finely dissected divisions.

Prferred Habitat - Rich, moist woods.

Flowering Season - May-June.

Distribution - Nova Scotia to Virginia, and westward to the

Mississippi.



Any one familiar with the Bleeding-heart (B. eximia) of old-

fashioned gardens, found growing wild in the Alleghanies, and

with the exquisite White Mountain Fringe (Adlumia fungosa) often

brought from the woods to be planted over shady trellises, or

with the Dutchman's breeches, need not be told that the little

squirrel corn is next of kin or far removed from the pink

corydalis. It is not until we dig up the plant and look at its

roots that we see why it received its name. A delicious perfume

like hyacinths, only fainter and subtler, rises from the dainty

blossoms.





BULBOUS or SPRING CRESS



(Cardamine bulbosa; C. rhomboidea of Gray) Mustard family



Flowers - White, about 1/2 in. across, clustered in a simple

terminal raceme. Calyx of four sepals; corolla of 4 petals in

form of a cross; 6 stamens; 1 compound pistil with a 2-lobed

style. Stem: 6 to 18 in. high, erect, smooth, from a tuberous

base. Leaves: Basal ones rounded, on long petioles; upper leaves

oblong or lance-shaped, toothed or entire-edged, short petioled

or seated on stem. Fruit: Very slender, erect pods about 1 in.

long, tapering at each end, tipped with a slender style, the

stigma prominent; 1 row of seeds in each cell, the pods rapidly

following flowers up the stem and opening suddenly.

Preferred Habitat - Wet meadows, low ground, near springs.

Flowering Season - April-June.

Distribution - Nova Scotia to Florida, west to Minnesota and

Texas.



Pretty masses of this flower, that look like borders of garden

candy-tuft planted beside some trickling brook, are visited and

cross-fertilized by small bees, of the Andrena and Halictus clans

chiefly. How well the butterflies understand scientific

classification with instinct for their sure guide! The

caterpillar of that exquisite little white butterfly with a dark

yellow triangular spot across his wings, the fulcate orange-tip

(Euchloe genutia), a first-cousin of the common small white

cabbage butterfly, feeds on this plant and several of its kin,

knowing better than if the books had told it so, that all belong

to the same cross-bearing family. The watery, biting juice in the

Cruciferae - the radishes, nasturtiums, cabbage, peppergrass,

water-cress, mustards, and horseradish - by no means protects

them from preying worms and caterpillars; but ants, the worst

pilferers of nectar extant, let them alone. Authorities declare

that the chloride of potassium and iodine these plants contain

increase their food value to mankind.



The PURPLE CRESS (C. purpurea), formerly counted a mere variety

of the preceding, has now been ranked as a distinct species. Its

purplish-pink flowers, found about cold, springy places

northward, appear two or three weeks earlier than those of the

white spring cress.\

The MEADOW BITTER-CRESS (or CROSS), LADIES' SMOCK, OR

CUCKOO-FLOWER (C. pratensis), an immigrant from Europe and Asia

now naturalized here north of New Jersey from coast to coast,

lifts its larger and more showy white or purplish-pink flowers,

that stand well out from the stem on slender pedicels, in loose

clusters above watery low-lying ground in April and May.



"Lady-smocks all silver white"



now paint our meadows with delight, as they do Shakespeare's

England; but ours have quite frequently a decided pink tinge. The

light and graceful growth, and the pinnately divided foliage,

give the plant a special charm. In olden times, when it was

counted a valuable remedy in hysteria and epilepsy, Linnaeus gave

it its generic name Cardamine from two Greek words signifying

heart-strengthening.



More bees, flies, butterflies, and other insects visit the

ladies' smock than perhaps any other crucifer found here, since

it has showy flowers and so much nectar the long-persistent

sepals require little pouches to hold it. No wonder this plant

has triumphantly marched around the world, leaving its relatives

that take less pains to woo and work insects far behind in the

race. Owing to a partial revolution of the tall stamens away from

the stigmas, a visitor in sipping nectar must brush off some

pollen on his head or tongue, although in stormy weather, when

the movement of the stamens is incomplete, self-pollination may

occasionally occur, according to Muller.





SPRING BEAUTY CLAYTONIA ST. ANDREW'S CROSS facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail

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