Sunday, April 6, 2008
As favored wildflowers go, this one has to be high on the list, in part, because it’s somewhat hard to find. Jeffersonia, a.k.a. twinleaf, is protected as a threatened or endangered plant in Georgia, Iowa, New York and New Jersey. In Tennessee, it’s a little easier to find, that is if you know where to look.
Jeffersonia was named in honor of Thomas Jefferson, by his contemporary Benjamin Smith Barton. It’s an uncommon spring wildflower that grows in limestone soils of rich woodlands.
I took this photo before the heavy rains of the past two days. I suspect the delicate blooms have been somewhat pummeled. But that’s what happens this time of the year. What did T.S. Eliot say in The Waste Land? “April is the cruelest month, breeding/Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing/Memory and desire, stirring/Dull roots with spring rain.”
And then the April storms hit and beat back the new life.