Twinleaf (Jeffersonia Diphylla) is a small, low plant, being only about 8 in. high when in flower. The solitary white flower has eight white petals and half as many early-falling sepals; it grows at the top of a naked scape. The two-parted leaves grow from the root on long petioles; they are bright above and rather whitish below.
Twinleaf is not uncommon in moist woods from N. Y. to Wise, and southwards; it flowers in April and May.
B. Prickly Poppy.
Closely following on the heels of our handsome Hepatica, we find the delicate flowered Bloodroot unfurling its leaves and expanding its flowers in rich, rocky, open woodland. Almost before snow has left, the flower stalk bearing a little bud, closely wrapped in a delicate silvery leaflet, forces its way up through the earth and dead leaves. The leaf unfurls and the flower stalk grows rapidly, forcing the bud up out of its protection; it now opens, the two sheathing sepals falling off, exposing to our view an exquisitely - pure, white, delicate blossom; the eight petals are partially closed on dull days, but in sunshine spread wide open, one and one-half inches in diameter, exposing the golden center made up of the numerous, yellow-tipped stamens. The flowers are very delicate; the petals stay but two or three days anyway, and a breath of wind may blow them off sooner.
After the flower is gone, the leaf developes rapidly and becomes very large and imposing, with many divisions and lobes. The root is reddish and is filled with a blood-like juice, as is also the stem. This is now used in medicines and was formerly used by Indians for coloring purposes. Bloodroot is common from N. S. to Minn, and southwards.. It flowers in April and May.
Prickly Poppy (Argemone Mexicana) is a handsome Mexican plant found in the southwestern portions of the United States and, as an escape, in other portions. It has a prickly stem from one to two feet high. The stemless leaves have sharp lobes, also armed with prickles. The flower is bright yellow, has four petals and numerous orange-tipped stamens. The later fruit capsule is about one inch in length and is covered with prickly bristles. The flowers give no nectar, but plenty of pollen to the bees that visit them.
Celandine. Chelidonium majus.
Although this is a stranger in a strange land, having come to us from across the seas, it is by no means backwards and is extending its range with remarkable celerity. It is now abundant almost everywhere in the eastern half of our country. It bids fair, in time, to extend its range to equal that of the English Sparrow, but we trust it will never become a pest as that bird has.
The stem is quite stout and very branching; at the end of each branch is a loose cluster of buds on slender pedicels. These open one or two at a time, so that the plant keeps in bloom for a long time; in fact, the flowering season extends from early in May to the end of September. The flowers are half an inch or more broad, with four golden-yellow petals, a slender, pointed green pistil and numerous yellow stamens. The seed-pod is long and slender; when ripe, it splits at the base and allows the seeds to escape. Towards the end of the flowering season, the continued bloom is marked by the large number of these pods with which the plant is decorated.
The thin, soft leaves are very handsomely divided into three to seven, lobed leaflets. Both stem and leaves have a bright yellow, very acrid juice, that stains everything it comes in contact with. Celandine is often known in Europe as "Swallow-wort" as it is supposed to commence flowering with the coming of the swallows and to cease with their departure. Its generic name also originated in this belief.