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Wildflower Wednesday

This week’s Wildflower Wednesday feature flower is Spring Beauty.

Spring Beauty is a native spring ephemeral that blooms April – May. Its flowers are most commonly light pink with dark pink veins but can be white, pink or purple. The flowers bloom for 3 days, opening and closing with the sunlight. It has 2 slender leaves that resemble grass.

Interestingly, from plant to plant, Spring Beauty has an inconsistent number of chromosomes which is very different from almost all other plants. (most have fixed chromosomes.)

The whole plant is edible and is one of the first food sources after long winters for humans, animals, and pollinators. Its tubers are often cooked like potatoes and contain vitamins A and C in addition to calcium and potassium. Medicinally it was used to treat convulsions, urinary tract problems, sore throats, dandruff, and as a contraceptive.

In reference to harvesting Spring Beauty, Euell Gibbons, author of the classic culinary field guide, Stalking the Wild Asparagus, wrote "The tubers are good food for the body, but after a long winter, the pale-rose flowers in early spring are food for the soul."

Its flower essence is said to help release pent-up emotions of intolerance and impatience.


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