Entire Species List

Featured ANIMALS
Box Turtles
Timber Rattlesnakes
Streamside Salamander

Featured PLANTS
Spring Ephemerals
Old Growth
Forest Composition
Essay on woods

Historic Wall
Ecological Corridor
Development Planning

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Toothwort with trout lilies in background
Most of the year, the forest floor is brown with crunchy leaves and dirt. But, for a couple weeks in early spring, a blanket of green punctuated with white, yellow, and pink covers the hillsides. Spring ephemeral wildflowers are designed to take advantage of this one moment during the year when the temperature is warm enough to grow, but the tree canopy hasn't yet leafed out to block the sunlight. Even though every square inch of the ground in places is covered with wildflowers, you would never know that they are here the rest of the year. Each plant is only above ground for a few weeks before retreating to the tiny underground tubers in which form it will wait until next spring. These flowers grow in our moist rich forests, not under the chestnut oaks at the hilltops, and not under invasive shrubs such as honeysuckle that leaf out earlier than native shrubs. If you have a chance in late March or early April, wander out into the woods and join the ephemeral celebration of spring!
Dutchman's breeches Dutchmen's breeches' tuber on the left, squirrel corn tuber on the right Squirrel corn