We took a nice hike on a portion of the Shut-In Trail today and came across several pretty wildflowers.
Sections of the trail can be quite steep, so stopping to admire the flowers, offered a welcome break.
Later this afternoon, we checked our Wildflowers of the Carolinas Field Guide by Nora and Rick Bowers and Stan Tekiela to learn about the flowers we saw today.
Spring Beauty/Claytonia Virginica Perennial; native
Often grows in large patches, reproducing from small underground tubers. The potato-like tubers were once gathered for food. (P. 75)
Field Pansy/Viola bicolor Annual; native
Also known as Johnny-jump-up, Field Pansys are more heat resistant than the common garden pansy. Also, these are host plants for the fritillary butterfly caterpillars. (P. 141)
Bloodroot/Sanguinaria canadensis Perennial; native.
These flowers lack nectar, quickly dropping petals after pollination and leaving a pointed pod-like capsule. The orangish red sap in the stems and roots was used by many cultures as a dye and an insect repellent. An extract from the sap in the roots is currently used in toothpaste for its plaque-fighting properties. (P. 251)
And last but not least… Common Dandelion/Taraxacum officinale Perennial; non-native.
Originally brought from Eurasia as a food crop. Its leaves are bitter, but offer high vitamin and mineral content. The long taproot has been roasted and ground to use as a coffee substitute. (P. 369)