Growing near the East entrance are these beautiful Virginia Bluebells, or Mertensia virginica. There aren't very many of them, perhaps because they are competing with non-native invasive plants in the area. They were originally planted here by Greenbelt Public Works.
|Mertensia virginica (Virginia Bluebells)|
Nearby, I found a few Wild Geraniums, also called Crane's Bill. There are hundreds of species in the Geranium family, so I'm hesitant to make a definitive statement about the Latin name, but this one seems to be Geranium maculatum.
|Geranium maculatum (Wild Geranium, Crane's Bill)|
|Podophyllum peltatum (Mayapple)|
|If I were a small elf, I would want to take shelter under the umbrella-like foliage.|
My best guess is that this is one of the Silverbells, a small genus of several species. I'd say that this is the Carolina Silverbell, but I'm not sure. If you know, tell me in the comments.
|A Carolina Silverbell?|
Another tree that is in bloom now is Cercis canadensis or Eastern Redbud. I've always thought that these trees have a funny, charming shape, with their sort of stringy looking branches.
|Cercis canadensis (Eastern Redbud)|
I'm getting a bit giddy thinking about the fragrance. I hope that I don't lose my sense of smell anytime soon.
|Magnolia Virginiana (Sweetbay Magnolia)|
The Flowering Dogwoods are in bloom now, and they appear to be near their peak. Except that they're not really in bloom! Technically what we think of as the flower petals are bracts. The true blossoms are those little greenish things in the middle. In this photo, you can see that those are not open yet.
|Cornus florida (Flowering Dogwood)|
|Rhododendron periclymenoids (Pinxter Flower)|
|Buds on a Rhododendron periclymenoides.|
|Kalmia latifolia (Mountain Laurel)|
|Iris pseudacorus (Yellow flag)|
|Vinca minor (Periwinkle)|
|Alliaria petiolata (Garlic Mustard)|
|A large group of Ranunculus ficaria (Lesser Celandine)|
|The invasive Lesser Celandine, shown here, is easily confused with Marsh Marigold, a non-invasive native. An easy way to tell them apart is that the Marsh Marigold has five petals, compared with Lesser Celandine's eight.|
|A Japanese Honeysuckle vine (Lonicera japonica) taking advantage of a tree.|
|Hedera Helix (English Ivy) is an enemy of the park.|
|Toxicodendron radicans (Poison Ivy)|
This tiny blue flower grows in patches as a delightful weed. It's commonly called Bird's Eye Speedwell, and I am almost confident that its Latin name is Veronica persica. The Speedwells can be confusing because they have so many common names, and more than one species share the common name of Bird's Eye Speedwell.
|Veronica persica (Bird's Eye Speedwell)|
You likely have Ground-ivy (Glechoma hederacea) somewhere in your backyard. It's everywhere. The scalloped leaves have a yummy spicy scent, and its blossoms are so tiny that it was hard to get a good shot with my camera. Here's a link to the wikipedia article if you want to see a better close-up.
|Glechoma hederacea (Ground-ivy), shown here with English Ivy.|
|Lamium purpureum (Purple deadnettle)|
|Ranunculus acris (Common Buttercup)|
|Ranunculus abortivus (Kidneyleaf Buttercup, Small-flowered Buttercup)|
I'm guessing that this is Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus), though I can't be entirely sure it's not Philadelphia Fleabane.
|Erigeron annuus (Daisy Fleabane)?|
Here is a close-up of seeds on a Red Maple tree. If you look carefully, you can see the last little bits of the red flowers that were in full bloom a few weeks ago. The Red Maple, Acer rubrum, seems to be the best represented species of maple in the woods around here.
|Acer rubrum (Red Maple) seeds.|
Here are some Skunk Cabbages, Symplocarpus foetidus, which thrive in wet places. The Skunk Cabbage flowers are also finished now. The blossoms are odd looking things, spotted brown and purple, and they come up from the ground before the foliage appears. You can see a photo of a Skunk Cabbage blossom in the link here.
|Symplocarpus foetidus (Skunk Cabbage)|
This thornless shrub is Jetbead or Rhodotypos scandens. (In the original post, I was unable to identify it, but a friend posted it on the Plant Identification facebook group.) It is non-native, and it can be invasive.
|Rhodotypos scandens (Jetbead)|
This tree, growing on the path that leads to the peninsula, is still unidentified. It looks like a Cherry Tree to me, but I'm not sure. If it is a Cherry, I don't know which species it would be.
|A Cherry Tree?|
|The bark of the mystery tree.|