I always get surprises when I go to The Pocket. Today was no exception, except that since things started blooming so much earlier than usual this year (Hepatica in January!), I was expecting the “early season” to continue – expecting some of the earlier species to be gone, and frankly I was expecting to see the Bent White Trillium blooming. However, with the exception of Lindera benzoin (Spicebush), ALL of the early species were still blooming. So with all those earlier ones, and a few more added this trip, I found 30 species in flower this trip. And those Bent White Trillium, while close, are not yet blooming. It seems the wildflowers at The Pocket are now closer to “normal schedule” than “really early.”
Slender Yellow Wood Sorrel, a native species, has been added to the USWildflowers database (05/27/2013.) Scientific name is Oxalis dillenii. It is also known by the common names Southern Yellow Wood-sorrel, Dillen’s Oxalis. Photo below was taken in Walker County, GA on May 17, 2013. Go to the Slender Yellow Wood Sorrel detail page for more photos and information.
For those who were hoping for, as Ed Sullivan would have put it, “A Really Big Shew,” the time has passed in 2009. However, that is relative to The Pocket, and the abundance of wildflowers still exceed what you’ll find in many areas. While the dominant flower along the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail seems to be Sweet Cicely right now, a species that isn’t exactly ‘showy,’ several of the “signature species” could still be found on Saturday, 4/25.
Cindy and I headed down to The Pocket at Pigeon Mountain around 4:30 Friday afternoon. I knew the light would be failing on the Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail soon after we arrived, but I was committed for Saturday, and wanted to make sure I was able to make a weekly report on the wildflower status during the spring season. If you’re into watching the seed-formation process, this is a good time for you. There is still an abundance of wildflowers in The Pocket, making a trip absolutely worthwhile, but of the “signature flowers,” Virginia bluebell and wood poppy are past blooming or almost so, and the bent trillium is abundant but in decline. The dominant species in the boardwalk area is probably the wild hyacinth, with the wild geranium still providing a pink splash around much of the trail.
This is a picture of Violet Wood Sorrel leaves. The leaves are as lovely to me as the flower itself.
Wood Sorrel is a common wildflower, with the USDA Plants Database listing 36 varieties in the United States, with 7 species listed in Georgia. Of those, only 2 species are confirmed in Walker County. One of those is Violet Wood Sorrel – Oxalis violacea. (The other is Oxalis dillenii, Slender Yellow Wood Sorrel.)