(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
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
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
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
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
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.
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