More dramatic, perhaps, than the greatest sunflower or the most elegant rose, are these three little plants of whitlow grass. The photograph was staged deliberately to bring out that quality of miniature drama, lighted to emphasize the smallness of the plants, their white lowers set off by the dark and indeterminate background. The small stems, the delicate flowers, the small hairy leaves all are proof that even such may have strength to push through a stony place and grow, and blossom, and make fruit.
Draba reptans (Lam.) Fern.
Early spring Stony fields.
"Whitlow grass comes early and it- blossoming is do1 announced in the press or talked about with the delight of those finding violets. Few people know when the whitlow grass blooms; lew know when its time is over. But in the -tony fields and rocky places of Illinois, the Carolina whitlow grass, in tiny majesty, fulfills its annual meeting with the spring. It comes in March. The little rosettes of small, erey-green. furry leaves remained there all winter among the stones, and now quickly in the damp chill days of March the thin little downy stems push up. perhaps to the enormous height of two or three inches, seldom or never more than that, open their four-petaled white (lowers and hastily make seeds in pod- reminiscent of radish pods. Whitlow grass and radishes are both in the Mustard family.
Whitlow grass is not an important plant, not an especially beautiful one except for the beauty of any small, perfect thing successfully and efficiently performing its life cycle. It is there as part of the very early spring, often before the more conspicuous wild flowers bloom, and that is enough.