A brief stroll up the hill in our backyard revealed an amazing variety of spring flowers. Many prairie wildflowers are diminutive and understated. The prairie golden banner is an exception – bright yellow blankets of these beauties are abundant this year.
The bright blue shining penstemmon is our earliest blooming penstemmon.
Like many plants, this one has a couple of common names – the star lily or sand lily.
It is hard to positively ID an onion without digging up the bulb. But my guess is that this is a nodding onion. When the flower opens, it will be an umbel (think umbrella-shape) with 5 – 40 individual flowers.
Field chick weed has but five petals – each is deeply notched, making the flower appear more complex.
Nuttall’s violet, also called yellow prairie violet, has a delightful 5 inch tall flower.
Cous, also known as biscuitroot, has an umbel flower structure like the nodding onion.
Phlox species, surrounded by some woody winter deer scat.
The shrubs are all in bloom too! This is sticky currant, a cousin of the yellow currant that grows along the river. The leaves are sticky to the touch.
Skunkbush sumac has tiny whitish yellow flowers and trifoliate leaves (a compound leaf composed of three leaflets). If you rub your finger on the bark, it emits a pleasantly pungent smell.