In May there comes a thin, tenuous, delicate plant. to the dry, wooded hillsides. It is a graceful plant whose long taproot apparently goes endlessly into the gravelly clay soil of the oak lull. Now in May when the migrating warblers swarm through the new-leafed oaks, the yellow pimpernel is in bloom.
Taenidia integerrima (L.) Drudc.
May. Hilly, dry woods.
Despite its name, the yellow pimpernel actually is a member of the parsnip family, bu1 in contrast to that usually lusty tribe, the pimpernel is a graceful, slender, airy plant. Its foliage often reminds one of the appearance and manner of growth of the royal fern (Osmunda regalis). But the flower clusters reveal the plant's true lineage, In these tiny yellow flowers which are borne in sparse heads in a spreading, airy umbel, one sees that they are typically parsnip flowers. They are graceful enough, however, for occasional flower-gatherers to pick a few for a bouquet, to the pickers' chagrin and disgust when the charming little blossoms with their neat foliage promptly wilt down into an unreviving mass of limp greenery.
The yellow pimpernel belongs there in the gravelly hillside woods, deep under the oak shade, where the often barren -lopes are covered with the pleasant greenery of it- leaves and the faint perfume of it-(lowers. Above in the oak- the redstarts Hit and call. The tiny bright birds from the South American jungles will nest nearby in some inaccessible oak top. and may flit down, down, down, branch by branch and twig by twig, to daintily pick gnats from the air above the pimpernel-.