Where the springs run out of the sandy hillside - where the watercress beds are green and lush in the clear, cold spring water, and the wild iris grows where the stream widens! into a marsh - there are airy white flowers held delicately on thin stems. The spring cress is in bloom.
Cacdamine bulbosa (Schreb.) BSP.
April - May Swamps, shores.
Four-petaled like radish flowers, the blossoms are held on graceful stalks above the neat, lobed leaves which all grow from a bulbous base in the moist, sandy, woods soil.
The little silvery blue butterflies, which come to sip moisture along the spring's flow, come flitting by and pause on the white flowers of the cress, sip a moment, and are off again. A Bewick's wren, twitching its long tail here and there in a most reckless abandon, comes hopping past, muttering to itself, and cocks an eye up at the flowers, thrusts out a long curved beak and picks off a lady beetle. A box turtle pauses for a long nap close to the bed of spring cress, then in leisure awakens and reaches out a slow head to take a bite of cress leaves.
Springtime goes on all about the cress flowers. Sun and moon and night and day, the coming of migrant birds and their departure to the north, the crying of whip-poor-wills at twilight and the crying of killdeers out on the mud of the marsh all day and all night. And when the white petals of the spring cress finally fall to the ground and the seeds form on the stalks, then indeed the spring is past and summer has come into the woods.