Thursday, April 19, 2012

Spring Wildflowers At Stalking Head Creek

March 24th, 2012. We returned to the Piedmont NWR to check on plants we saw on March 10th and took the same route as on our last trip. We took Starr Road from GA-83 south on through the Oconee National Forest into the NWR. We drove through Tribble Fields to the bridge over Little Falling Creek and then north to Pond 2A. We returned the way we’d come and then took the first road on the right down to the Round Oak – Juliette Rd, drove east and then back into the NWR on the first road on the left. From there we drove north to the intersection with Sugar Hill Road, turned west and forded Stalking Head Creek. We then drove north and took the first road on the right to ford Stalking Head Creek again, east past a small pond and southeast to meet Sugar Hill Road again and then east to GA-11.

After photographing wildflowers at Allison Creek, we went on over to the ford at Stalking Head Creek to photograph the Mayapples (Podophyllum peltatum) again. Unfortunately, the plants we had photographed on our previous visit had been destroyed when this section of the NWR was burned. We decided to see if we could make our way over to a large patch of plants we had seen on the ledge above the creek. On our way over, we encountered a number of interesting plants – some old friends and a new one.

Sanicula smallii (Small's Blacksnakeroot). It would have been easy to miss this plant. The blooms are small and unimposing. This is the first time I’ve seen Small’s Blackroot although I’ve seen Canada Blacksnakeroot (Sanicula canadensis) at Fort Yargo State Park.

Sanicula smalli
is one of four Sanicula species that have been documented in Georgia. This species is native to the United States where it grows from the Great Lakes states to Texas. In Georgia
, it has been documented in several counties but not in Jones County.

Trillium cuneatum (Little sweet Betsy). We found plants distributed throughout the ledge above the creek.
Some were blooming.

A closer view

Another plant, and

one with its petals open to show the anthers and stigma inside.

A four-leaf trillium. I found this plant while I was lying on the ground photographing Mayapple blooms. It’ll be fun to come back in the future to see if this plant survives and blooms. Will the bloom be different from those on the three-leaved plants

Thalictrum thalictroides (Rue Anemone). We found a few plants in the shade near the Mayapple patch.

And then the Mayapples…

Click on an image to view a larger image

Identification resources:

- Southeastern Flora:
Sanicula smallii (Small's Blacksnakeroot)
- Name that plant: Sanicula smallii (Snakeroot, Small's Sanicle, Southern Sanicle)

- Missouri Plants: Sanicula smallii

- University of North Carolina Herbarium: Sanicula smallii

- USDA Plants Database: Sanicula smallii (Small's Blacksnakeroot)

Related Posts

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Late Winter Surprises (Part 4)

- Piedmont National Wildlife Refuge: Atamasco Lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)

- Jasper County, Georgia: Red-banded Hairstreak (Calycopis cecrops)

- Jasper County, Georgia: New Life – Bracken Fern (Pteridium aquilinum) & Green-and-gold (Chrysogonum virginianum)

- Piedmont NWR: Flowering Dogwoods (Cornus florida)

- Piedmont NWR: Bulbous Bittercress (Cardamine bulbosa)

- Piedmont NWR: A Wildflower Miscellany

- Fowler’s Toad (Anaxyrus fowleri)


Kay G. said...

Beautiful photos.

JSK said...

Thanks Kay. There are a lot of great wildflowers this year, and earlier than usual