March 24
Sweet Betsy
(Trillium cuneatum)
Green and Gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

This pencil-stemmed wildflower comes up in early spring. It is a perennial plant, but may take four or more years to bloom when grown from seed. It dies back each summer. However, Green and Gold is evergreen, blooming intermittently for nine more months. Green and Gold has soft fuzzy hairs on stems and leaves—leaves that are as soft as a little bunny’s ears.

Ground clutter in the painting tells us that these plants are under a maple whose fruits consist of two red wings (samaras); each wing has one seed. When the maple gets bigger, there could be too much shade for the Green and Gold. The matted maple leaves will further reduce the sunlight. Green and Gold may then disappear from this location, but will be discovered in a place with more sun. The Sweet Betsy will enjoy the shade of the larger maple, but may also find a more acidic spot under a beech tree. Both plants will choose a well drained location.

As trees grow or fall, the woodland landscape evolves. We bid a sad farewell to a favorite plant in a location but delight in new discoveries there.

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