Marsh Clematis (C. Crispa) , found in the southern states is the most beautiful species; flowers about the size of the last, with bluish-purple, crimped, or wavy-edged sepals, sweet scented.
Leather Flower (C. Viorna) is a larger and tougher species with a woody stem that often reaches a length of 10 feet. The flower calyx is bell-shaped, the four pointed sepals being very thick and leathery. It grows in rich soil, usually climbing over bushes, from Pa. to Mo. southwards, flowering in May and June.
Virgin's Bower (Clematis Virginiana) is a beautiful, graceful, climbing, twining vine found throughout our range. The small greenish white flowers, with four or five sepals, grow in clusters from the leaf axils; staminate and pistillate ones are on separate plants. In Fall, the beautiful silky plumes of the seed pods gives this species the name of "Old Man's Beard."
A. Wild Columbine.
B. Gold Thread.
Wild Columbine (Aquilegia Canadensis) is one of our typical, early woodland plants, graceful in form and beautiful in flower. It grows in rocky woodland throughout our range, flowering from April to June. The slender roots are perennial and the plant will grow up each year if this is undisturbed. Unfortunately, from the nature and shallowness of the soil among the rocks, and the tough wiry, slender stem, it is usually plucked out by the roots by those gathering flowers. I trust that those of my readers who find it necessary or advisable to gather this, or other flowers, will make sure that at least the root be left for future production.
The flowers are well shown on the opposite page; the stem is very slender, wiry and graceful, quite branching and attaining heights of one to two feet. The flowers are heavy, which causes them to nod from their slender, thread-like peduncles. A quantity of nectar is secreted in the base of each red spur, serving to attract butterflies, moths and often the Ruby-throated Hummingbirds, for these birds are very partial to red colors. Columbine blossoms from April to July throughout our range, on rocky, wooded hillsides.
Goldthread (Coptis Trifolia) is a small woodland plant receiving its name from the slender, threadlike, golden-yellow roots; these are very bitter and are used for the concoction of several medicines. These roots are characterisitc and readily identify the species. The leaves also are peculiar in that they are evergreen, and deep shining green in color, 3-parted and notched, on long petioles from the root. The white flower has five or six early falling sepals; it is usually solitary on a scape from 3 to 6 in. high. Common in rich'woods throughout U. S. and Canada.
A. Monkshood; Aconite. Aconitum uncinatum.
B. Hepatica; Liverwort.