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.
...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...