Virginia Bluebells, mertensia virinica
Forget-me-not Family (Boraginaceae)
Description: Erect plant with smooth gray-green foliage and nodding clusers of pink buds that open into light blue trumprt shaped flowers. Flowers: about 1″(2.5cm) long; corolla 5-lobed. Leaves: basal leaves 2-8″ (20-60cm) long; stem leaves smaller, alternate, oval unthoothed. Height: 8-24″(20-60cm).
Flowering: March – June
Habitat: Moist woods; rarely, meadows; especially on flood plains.
Range: Southern Ontario; western New York south to northern North Carolina and Alabama; west to Arkansas and eastern Kansas; north to Minnesota.
Comments: When it grows in masses, this species makes a spectacular show, especially in the Midwest. Carpet blooms are to be found starting the middle of April lasting into May in the SE region of Minnesota. The flower is also known as a sugary treat when removed from the stamen a small white band at the base of the flower is revealed which can be sucked or chewed on for a sweet taste.
All flower resources taken from: Niering, William A., Olmstead, Nancy C., National Audobon Society Field Guide to North American Wildlowers. 1979, Chanticleer Press, INC.