Saturday, March 30, 2013

yellow with teeth

Although winter keeps hanging on, there are a few signs of spring in the woods.

It's hard not to notice the spring ephemerals, they're slowly beginning to emerge. But, their time is brief, soon they will be gone. POOF! 

Bloodroot has been up for awhile and this morning I discovered that a small, yellow wildflower is blooming. This one is a bit challenging to ID. You can tell by the leaves that it's related to squirrel corn and Dutchman's breeches, but the flowers are much smaller and yellow.

According to my Peterson's Wildflower Field Guide (Roger Tory co-authored with Margaret McKenny. He did the illustrations) there are three species of corydalis: C. flavula, C. aurea and C. micrantha. 

The differences are in the shape of the small flowers themselves. C. flavula (yellow corydalis) has a toothed crest on the upper petal; C. aurea (golden corydalis) does not; and C. micrantha (slender corydalis) has a straight or upturned spur, slight crest, no teeth.

Got that?

Any who. The one in the photo, the one growing along the North Cove Trail at Ijams Nature Center, is yellow corydalis. It has a toothed crest.

Now you know in case it turns up on Alex Trebek's Jeopardy! under the heading "Almost Totally Too Much Information" for $1,000.

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