Spring beauties are among those abundant spring blossoms which carpel the woods in April. That mass of white lowers is mainly spring beauties with a mixture of trout lilies, toothwort, and anemones a brief, dancing, delightful throng. It is a transient transformation of the forest floor into a vast flower bed. Of them all, the spring beauties in the carpeting are most lavish in their blossoming.
Claytonia virginica L.
Early spring Woods.
The thin, pink, watery stems spring from small, hairy brown corms in the ground. The stems and first leaves, red-brown and naked-looking, come up often in February and even then show curled-over stems of flower buds. They seem able to survive the severest weather, and in late March and early April when the mourning cloak butterflies are out and migrant hermit thrushes are back in the woods, the spring beauties suddenly bloom. They begin with a scattering of exciting white flowers on a sunny south slope. They continue hurriedly on the early mild days with a blanketing of flowers all over the woods.
Bach flower has five pinkish or white petals bearing bright red hairline-, guide lines for insects which come to glean the earliest nectar and at the same time pollinate the flowers. A- each flower withers, it bends over on its pliable stem and curls beneath the flower cluster while the seeds form. By June there are no more spring beauty plants in the woods they have come up have blossomed, made their seeds, sent food into the conns, and have disappeared until late next winter when the leaves and flower buds completely formed, rise again from the lately frozen earth.