Friday, May 6, 2011

Wild Ginger and Old Stoney, the Mighty Rock Guardian...

An odd little flower, Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) is bell shaped and often lies partially buried in the dirt. Hidden from view by two huge heart-shaped leaves, you would never know the strange flower is there as you walk past, but then again, we're not meant to know the flower is there. Insects that roam the forest floor are, and they have no problem finding the eye-level beauty (that is also a little scary looking)!

I had to brush aside leaves on the ground to be able to see this Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) blossom...and what a strange little blossom it is! Ants and flies and other insects find the dark maroon to chocolate brown blossoms easy enough, and its cup-like form often offers shelter to these tiny insects which then pollinate the flower.

...beautiful heart-shaped leaves keep the one-inch bell from view.

...a tiny flower within a flower? It looks like it, but it's really just a 6-lobed stigma perched on top of a thick style.

...each plant consists of two heart-shaped leaves on separate stems. One flower grows between the two stems, often covered by leaves and sometimes partially buried in the ground.

...long hairs coat the sepals that form the bloom, making it look like its covered in white fur. The only way to see this flower is to get down on your hands and knees and gently move aside the heart-shaped leaves. In this photo, I used the camera to hold back the leaves to focus on the flower resting in the leaf litter.

...the Mighty Rock Guardian is ever vigilant, protecting wildflowers from forces seen and unseen.
Actually, Rick created Old Stoney while I was photographing the ginger. If you find yourself at the base of the hillside trail at Fort Ancient (where it feeds into the Little Miami River) look for a patch of heart-shaped Wild Ginger leaves and see if the Mighty Rock Guardian is still there! He protects all who venture forth...

12 comments:

Wanda..... said...

You should return after a time to see if he is still there. Last summer, Alivia and I placed a heart-shaped rock on a felled tree spanning the creek and it's still there.

Montanagirl said...

Fun post, Kelly! What a pretty little flower.

Janice K said...

Now you have me curious...The leaf looks familiar, but I have never seen such a flower. I had a nice walk in the woods yesterday--Now I have something new to look for. Your series on wildflowers has been really interesting.

Your guardian looks quite convincing too.

Cicero Sings said...

Interesing plant/flower, great pics, fun rock guardian!

Out on the prairie said...

I have seen the leaves coming out, but willhave to look closer for the blooms. Perhaps that will be my mission after visiting some greenhouses with a friend.Happy Mothers Day!

Bob Bushell said...

That was a beautiful moment, fantastic.

Carol Mattingly said...

Love this little wildflower. Nicely done Kelly. Have a great Derby Day. Carol

grammie g said...

Hi Kelly ...amazing what we miss if we just go rushing through life
nature is so fun of wonderful treasures like this blossom, a hidden jewel!!
Your husbands little hobbie is so darn cute I love it!!
This one is great!!
Have a great Mothers Day!!

Frank said...

Creeping about on all fours certainly opens up a whole new world that is unseen from above. Excellent series Kelly. Nice to see an example of Rick's artistic talents.

Happy Mothers Day ... FAB & Anita.

Elaine said...

Amazing the beauty we can find if we just look closely enough. Beautiful work, Kelly! I'm glad the Mighty Rock Guardian is at work to protect these little treasures.

Susan said...

You are spring time prolific! I just planted a ginger root from the grocery store, in hopes that it'll grow (rumour has it..) and waiting for the little bird print :>)

Kelly said...

...thanks, everyone!! Today along the Little Miami at Kings Powder Factory, the Wild Ginger leaves were everywhere, but when I looked under them for the flowers, the blooms were pretty well spent. They were still there, but the tiny "inner flower" was dried up, and the sepals had turned brown. In only one week, the beautiful little blooms were already fading. Such is the life of an ephemeral... ;-)