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.


HomegURL said...

Lyn - where did you find this specimen? Great picture. Kathy

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful little plant! I expect that at any moment the wing-like leaves will take to the air leaving the flowers behind. Thank you for giving us something every day to ponder, appreciate and be grateful for. DebbieC

Stephen Lyn Bales said...

Hello DebbieC. Yes, the leaves are quite butterfly like. You do expect them to just lightly lift up and flutter away.

Kathy. I found the plant at the nature center where I work.