I’m so glad I spent time photographing wild ginger a couple weeks ago, now that I’m nursing a broken foot that’s preventing me from a deep exploration of my garden. I’ve been looking through those photos plus a few I found from last year.
The wild ginger stands out in my garden, before its neighboring summer-blooming flowers have started appearing.
This woodland plant has beautiful, heart-shaped leaves.
Landscapers say this is an excellent groundcover. It spreads, but not too quickly.
This spot in my garden has roughly tripled in size in six years.
Every year I see people comment on Instagram that they didn’t realize these plants have flowers. They hide really well!
The flowers are weird and wonderful.
They’re close to the ground, sometimes even resting on the ground, which makes them attractive to ants that carry the seeds to new areas. The dark color and bad smell (which I cannot vouch for) apparently attract flies that pollinate the flowers.
The leaves start out lying flat.
Then the leaves pop up and the flower appears — like a sea creature poking out of its shell.
Within a couple days, the leaves are fully grown. Sometimes they look like a pair of antennas.
New plants apparently start out as teeny-tiny replicas. I’ll have to watch these next year to see if they’re “oldies” that will flower.
More about wild ginger
Two jack-in-the-pulpits found a protected spot under this patch of large-flowered trilliums in my garden.
A photo essay starting at the end and evolving backwards.
Clusters of berries that have been partially eaten, perhaps by birds that will spread the seeds to new areas:
Beautiful ripe berries:
Because there are berries, these two plants were female.
But get this: next year, both of these same plants will probably be male! Jack-in-the-pulpits change sex depending on how much energy they have stored. Producing berries takes a lot of energy, so usually the next year they’re male.
Family photo of four blooming jacks under their tall, umbrella-like leaves. I assume the two plants on the right are male, though I didn’t know to check while they were blooming. Next year I will look more closely!
Stretching their leaves open:
Just getting started:
About this flower
These four jack-in-the-pulpits seem to have just had an argument and none of them can stand to even look at each other.
(Or should it be jacks-in-the-pulpit? jacks-in-the-pulpits? There are multiple jacks and multiple pulpits.)
The one on the far left even looks like he’s just exclaimed “Humph!” and is scowling like Sam Eagle of the Muppets.
Less than a week ago, the third one looked like this cool guy:
Now, he’s so upset he’s off-kilter:
In late April I noticed that the wild geranium section had multiplied since last year. This transplanted wildflower was a solid mass of green leaves.
I couldn’t wait for them to start blooming because I imagined a crowded sea of pinkish-purple flowers.
A month later, that proved true. One afternoon, I couldn’t seem to stop taking photos.
Plant source: Transplant from my mom’s garden.
More about wild geraniums