Plant A Day – Harbinger of Spring

Harbinger of Spring Erigenia bulbosa

Harbinger of Spring
Erigenia bulbosa

Ahh, the Harbinger of Spring, one of the first flowers to show itself in a sunny woods in the springtime.  They’re very small and blend in well with the leaf cover, so you have to really look for them.  But when you do, you know that the Hepatica, Cutleaf Toothwort, Bloodroot, etc. are not far behind!

Another name for this plant is Pepper and Salt, which of course refers to the small white petals and dark pistils and stamens.  Remember that it is “Pepper and Salt” rather than “Salt and Pepper”.  If you look up “Salt and Pepper” in the index of a field guide, you won’t find it.  It took me quite a while to figure that out.

Note the purplish anthers on the stamens

Note the purplish anthers on the stamens

Its compound leaves are generally divided into three leaflets and the leaflets have three lobes

Its compound leaves are generally divided into three leaflets and the leaflets have three lobes

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