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Adam and I are extremely fortunate to live right next door to Raccoon Creek State Park. We love hiking there at all times of the year, as there are different aspects of every season to wonder at and love.

I have just recently gotten interested in identifying wildflowers. Adam bought me a field guide for Christmas, and we took it along on our hike yesterday. It’s amazing how many different flowers pop up in springtime, and how most of us don’t even notice half of them.

Here are the ones we came across just yesterday:

Garlic Mustard-- Alliaria officinalis

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria officinalis)

Grows from April-June. Small clusters of white flowers on top of plant. Four petals on individual flowers. Noted by triangular, heartshaped leaves,stalked and sharply toothed. Leaves also have an odor of garlic when crushed. Plant grows 1-3 ft.

Greek Valerain-- Polemonium reptans

Greek Valerian (Polemonium reptans)

Blooms from April-June. Five-petaled, bell-shaped violet flowers. Similar to the plant Jacob’s Ladder, but the stem is weaker and the leaflets are fewer on the leaves (5-15 instead of 15-19). Stamens also do not project beyond the flower as they do in Jacob’s Ladder.

Round-Leaved Yellow Violet-- Viola rotundifolia

Round-Leaved Yellow Violet (Viola rotundifolia)

April-May. Five-petaled yellow flowers. The only stemless yellow violet. Small in size, roundish leaves close to the ground.

Spring Beauties-- Claytonia virginica

Spring Beauties (Claytonia virginica)

March-May. Pair of smooth, linear leaves midway up the stem. Five petals that are white or pink, with dark pink veins. 6-12 in.

White Trillium-- Trillium grandiflorum

Large-Flowered or White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)

Blooms from April-June. Three broad leaves and three showy white petals. White flowers (2-4 in) turn pink with age. Plant grows 12-18 in.

We liked the Trilliums best on this walk because they covered the ground everywhere and it looked magical:

White Trilliums

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