Also known as Wild Sweet William, Wild Blue Phlox is a favorite spring wildflower gives bright splashes of color to the woodlands. Growing best in the dappled shade of the woodland borders and preferring well drained ground, you often see Blue Phlox decorating the edges of trails.
The spring-blooming violets capture the romantic imagination of poets and songwriters. Growing in well-drained yet fairly moist areas in the hills of the Ozarks, there are dozens of different species and variations. You will see violets that are blue, purple, lavender, white, and yellow. Some are bicolored. Some are striped. Many have little fuzzy beards in the throat of the flower.
There is the term “shy violet”, which would suggest that a violet is quiet and unobtrusive. Well this cousin of the violet, the Field Pansy, is even more quiet. Yet is seems to be everywhere. Take a walk in a field in late March or April and watch your feet. In between the dandelions and dead nettle are these little pale lavender flowers. They don’t grow in thick patches, rather you’ll just find them sprinkled here and there. And here and there. And seemingly everywhere. Once you spot them you wonder how you missed seeing there were so many of them!
Virginia Bluebells, also known as Mertensia virginica are a spring ephemeral. That means the plant grows in the spring but doesn’t last through the summer. The foliage will die back by midsummer and the plant will go dormant. This strategy is common in spring plants and serves to protect them from the harsh dry conditions of late summer on the forest floor.
I must admit that I’m partial to blue flowers and they always catch my eye. Even when they’re so tiny that nobody else ever sees them. And this is the case with the Least Bluet. They grow in full sun and I typically see them on the wet gloppy part of a glade, in between the stones. These Bluets are quite uniform in appearance, being all the same size and all the same color and all the same height in any given location. They’re tiny. About 3/8″ across standing on stems about 2″ in height.