(Oxalis stricta) Wood-sorrel family

Flowers - Golden, fragrant, in long peduncled, small, terminal

groups. Calyx of 5 sepals; corolla of 5 petals, usually reddish

at base; stamens, 10; 1 pistil with 5 styles; followed by slender

pods. Stem: Pale, erect, 3 to 12 in. high, the sap sour. Leaves:

Palmately compound, of 3 heart-shaped, clover-like leaflets on

long petioles.

Preferred Habitat - Open woodlands, waste or cultivated soil,


Flowering Season - April-October.

Distribution - Nova Scotia and Dakota westward to the Gulf of


An extremely common little weed, whose peculiarly sensitive

leaves children delight to set in motion by rubbing, or to chew

for the sour juice. Concerning the night "sleep" of wood-sorrel

leaves and the two kinds of flowers these plants bear, see the

white and violet wood-sorrels.


(Linum Virginianum) Flax family

Flowers - Yellow, about 1/3 in. across, each from a leaf axil,

scattered along the slender branches. Sepals, 5; 5 petals, 5

stamens. Stem: 1 to 2 ft. high, branching, leafy. Leaves.

Alternate, seated on the stem; small, oblong, or lance-shaped, 1


Preferred Habitat - Dry woodlands and borders; shady places.

Flowering Season - June-August.

Distribution - New England to Georgia.

Certainly in the Atlantic States this is the commonest of its

slender, dainty tribe; but in bogs and swamps farther southward

and westward to Texas the RIDGED YELLOW FLAX (L. striatum), with

leaves arranged opposite each other up to the branches and an

angled stem so sticky it "adheres to paper in which it is dried,"

takes its place.

"Blue were her eyes as the fairy flax,"

wrote Longfellow, as if blue flax were a familiar sight on this

side of the Atlantic. The charming little European plant (L.

usitatissimum), which has furnished the fiber for linen and the

oily seeds for poultices from time immemorial, is only a fugitive

from cultivation here. Unhappily, it is rarely met with along the

roadsides and railways as it struggles to gain a foothold in our

waste places. Possibly Longfellow had in mind the blue toad flax


YELLOW VIOLETS Allium Descendens Purple-headed Garlick facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmail