I went hiking with my husband yesterday along the Stephens Falls Trail at Governor Dodge State Park and came across my first Spring wildflower sighting. I can't express the joy it brought me to see these little splashes of color popping up everywhere!
"The beautiful spring came;
and when Nature resumes her loveliness,
the human soul is apt to revive also."
~ Harriet Ann Jacobs
One of the earliest of wildflowers to herald Spring in Wisconsin woodlands is Hepatica, with delicate, starry flowers in a range of colors from white to purple.
Hepatica is a genus in the buttercup family (Ranunculaceae) and also goes by the common names liverleaf or liverwort. In the wild Hepatica is usually found in high-quality, open woodlands with many native trees and herbaceous plants and few or no invasive species such as garlic mustard or buckthorn.
Many pollinators, including butterflies, bees, flies and beetles visit the flowers as they bloom over a period of up to a month, usually mid-April to mid-May. The flowers close at night and on cloudy days when pollinators are unlikely to be flying.
"Purple sepals pale and prim, Joined around a tiny rim. Stately stamens standing tall, Pollen grains on anthers small, Pistils pointing to the sky Awaiting insects that come by. Hepatica is a sign of spring, And all the joy that it can bring!"