Monday, April 5, 2010

Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park

Friday, we visited Clifton Gorge and John Bryan State Park which are located near Yellow Springs, OH. The wildflower display was absolutely phenomenal. I was like a kid in a candy store.
Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis, was at its peak. Get out there now, if you want to see it, because the petals drop off after a good rain.

This gorgeous Bloodroot is named after the deep red sap that oozes out of its rhizome when it is broken.

Above is a photo I shot two years ago of the root. This traditionally was used as war paint by some tribes and as a dye for cloth.

We found one lone Rue Anemone, Thalictrum thalictroides. Such a delicate little flower.
Hepatica, Hepatica nobilis, is always a crowd pleaser. The hillsides were carpeted with these little beauties, in various shades of blue, lavender, pink and white.

Another one, the flowers even vary in color within the same clump.

Another shot-I never tire of these. I kept thinking, "Oh, I have plenty of Hepatica shots", then I would find another one that would catch my eye. So lovely!

The plant I was looking forward to seeing. Snow Trillium. It is an early bloomer, sometimes pushing forth when snow is still on the ground. There were hundreds of these at John Bryan State Park.

On a warm, sunny bank, we found the first Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense, bloom. Pollinated by beetles, flies, and even slugs, its unusual blossom is close to the ground.

Purple Cress, Cardamine douglassii, is also called Douglass's Bittercress and is named after the botanist, David Bates Douglass. It is in the mustard family and related to the peppery salad green watercress. In the left corner of the photo, you can see Virginia Bluebell in bud.

Dutchman's Breeches, Dicentra cucullaria, is another one of my favorites. Oh, who am I kidding? They are all my favorites! Dutchman's Breeches are so named because they look like the old-fashioned bloomers lined up on a clothesline. The bee is trying to get to the nectar, but only the bumblebee has a probocsis or tongue long enough to reach the nectar. Smaller bees will many times chew through the side of the blossom to reach the nectar, leaving behind a little hole as evidence of the crime.


  1. Hey Janet-

    Interesting info on Douglas! Great to know, and all new to me.

    Thanks for sharing this little bit of spring with us! Weedpicker

  2. Great Pictures - I too am in SW Ohio - and you have captured the essence... join me too