1st OUT OF THE WOODS
At the wood edges,
the green glowing eerily in the background, there is plenty of sunlight,
and in it, a new bunch of flowers to revel in. Here I found the wild geranium
and golden Alexanders growing side by side. Both have a similar habit
of growth. Their tall, slender, branching flower stalks rise to a height
of two feet or more, the flowers blooming at the ends of each branch.
In addition to the stem leaves, both have long petioled basal leaves surrounding
the flower stalk. However, this is where the similarity ends.
The wild geranium
(Geranium maculatum) has opposite leaves that are deeply cut into
five or seven lobes. The basal leaves are identical, only larger. Smaller
pairs of three lobed leaves appear at the base of the loose flower cluster.
The delicate flowers, with five petals each, are a pale rosy color tending
toward lavender, giving it the common name of shameface. It is also known
as crane's-bill, owing to the shape of its seed pods which are long, slender
and pointed. When ripe, the pod splits vertically from the base into five
segments that curl backwards and upwards, hurling the seeds in all directions.
This particular clump
of wild geranium came here in a shovelful of day lily plants that I had
dug up from my sister's yard many years ago. They have reseeded themselves
and spread nicely around the garden.
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