Don't be fooled. Inside this thin coating of sweetness is a fiery core of total insanity.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Wildflower Wednesday -- Trillium, Shooting star, Vanilla Leaf, and Vine Maple

I realized a couple of days ago that the Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) that I planted last Fall has survived the winter and returned.

The leaves right now are quite small and delicate, but as the plant matures, it will start to produce much bigger leaves. They have such an interesting three-part leaf. This wonderful shade plant is a Pacific Northwest native, and will eventually produce a white flower spike.

My white shooting star (Dodecatheon hendersonii), bought at one of the many plant sales that I've gone to this Spring, has started flowering.

Henderson's shooting star is another native shade perennial, that grows about 12 to 18 inches high. I love the extreme recurved petals.
I didn't realize when I bought Trillium ovatum, a Pacific Northwest native Trillium, that the flowers age from white to magenta pink.

There aren't any flowers yet on my vine maples (I have several), but the emerging leaves have such interesting pleating.

Technically not a wildflower, vine maple (Acer circinatum) is one of my favorite Pacific Northwest natives. This small tree, which grows up to 25 feet high, does well in the shade. I have it planted beneath the Douglas firs that tower over my back garden, where it gets shade for most of the day, and then late afternoon sun.  It is also wildlife-friendly, providing nesting and cover for birds, and seeds for birds and small mammals. And it has great Fall color.

I got mine last year from the Pierce County Conservation sale. It is only quite recently that nurseries have started to carry varieties of vine maple. Most of mine are the species, but I do have one named variety, called Pacific Fire, which has red stems and bright yellow foliage.

Check out the blog clay and limestone, for more posts about wildflowers. Rather than just one post on Wednesday, Gail is posting about wildflowers all week.