Wednesday, April 7, 2010

My Own Dog Tooth Violets


One of the first wildflowers to cover the mountains here in Spring, is the Dog Tooth Violet. But there weren't any growing near our home, so two years ago I attempted to dig some up and transplant to a shady area beneath some pines in our yard. It was a good deal more challenging than I expected....because I had to dig really deep to coax the bulbs from the rocky soil, and it was difficult to lift them without breaking the roots. I wasn't at all sure that it would be a successful endeavor.




I am happy to say the operation was a success! Shown above is a close up of this cheerful yellow wildflower....growing in my very own yard.






They aren't very thick yet, like the ones on the hillsides, but I am hoping they will naturalize and spread, to cover the area. I do so love their appearance in early Spring, signaling the change of seasons.... and I am especially glad that I can now see them from my kitchen window. :-)



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


DOG'S-TOOTH VIOLET, Erythronium dens-cani

OBSERVERS of plants who endeavour to understand their names have usually a tough, task before them. Many names, indeed, carry their meanings in their faces, but many have no meaning at all; and, again, many are founded on such subtle distinctions or fanciful notions that it is not in the plant but in the mind of the no-menclator that we must seek for the coveted explanation. But whatever the vices of botanical terminology, there are many reasons why names intended to be descriptive should be founded on obvious characters that are displayed above ground. Here is a dog's-tooth violet, and the inquiring amateur may be led to search leaves and flowers for some resemblance to the dog's-tooth moulding that so often occurs in architecture, and may conclude at last that the spots on the leaves shadow forth the resemblance. But the dog's tooth is underground, and we must dig up the plant to make a proper study of its name. The bulbs of the plant are white, and in form not unlike dog's teeth.


14 comments:

Catherine said...

You are always so good about giving us the 'full story' of a plant's name or nature. It is truly a lovely plant/flower! Thank you for sharing such a splendiferous picture!

. . . Lisa and Robb . . . said...

Lovely! Wild collecting is not permitted where I live...

Roses and Lilacs said...

They are so very delicate. I've never seen any growing wild in this area. Don't know if they are native here or not. Interesting to learn a little more about the plant.
Marnie

garden girl said...

They are beautiful! Like Marnie, I've never seen them growing wild in our area, although they are native here.

Donell said...

Beautiful, beautiful!

GardenJoy4Me said...

Connie .. I just love these little gems ! I would love to have a woodland garden packed full of the native flowering plants .. trillium are another favorite of mine and after all it is the provincial flower too ? LOL
These are simply lovely and I hope the spread like wildfire for you soon !
Joy

joey said...

How lovely, Connie. This is one wildflower that I love but don't have. Enjoy the gift of spring!

Iowa Gardening Woman said...

What a beautiful sight!

gardenpath said...

They are beautiful. Did they bloom the first year you moved them?

Lanny said...

Congratulations!

Kim and Victoria said...

How interesting, that it's the bulb, not the flower that causes the name. Lovely, lovely, flower.

Bernie said...

It's just fantastic that the violets have settled in so well ... they will look terrific as they spread.

O.I.M said...

I like the story behind the name of the flower. I'm sure your few plants will spread to give your garden great coverage in years to come. I've had a chance to plant some of the seeds you sent. I'm very much looking forward to their blooms.
irena

A rootdigger said...

I was myself so pleased to find a diferent kind of yellow violet, when one day as I was straightning up the little area ofland that joins mine and neighbors. I had not known they existed. I too coaxed a few into my yard.

You moved a little of the mountain home.!