Plant ID forum: Woodland Wildflower

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Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
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CindiKS
Apr 1, 2013 6:54 AM CST
This groundcover originally came from an oak/hickory forest on the Missouri/Northeast Kansas border. It has been growing in my mom's yard for 20 years in dappled shade. My dad says it has a little yellow bloom, but I won't be up there to take a photo when it is blooming.
The heart shaped leaves have a smooth edge, or else I would guess galax. The dark red splotches on the leaves are kind of interesting!
The stems and leaves are thick and rubbery, or else I would guess a form of violet. The flower bud is all wrong for violet, also. The flower bud looks like dandelion.
The roots are fleshy, tuberous, like daylilies.
There are small offsets on these plants, and they have spread through the yard. They never get more than 6" tall and wide. The leaves are about half dollar sized. I'm pretty sure it's evergreen, because spring has barely started where these are growing. They must be hardy to zone 5b.
Hope that's enough clues for an identification. Sure wish I had a photo of the bloom, sorry about that.
Thumb of 2013-04-01/CindiKS/c303dd
Thumb of 2013-04-01/CindiKS/625e0b
Thumb of 2013-04-01/CindiKS/ea9a29

Another detail that may or may not help--our woods is full of wildflowers that technically belong in the Southern Appalachian or Ozarks. I've looked at many of the databases while trying to identify this plant, and I'm amazed at how many plants we have in our woods that are just not supposed to grow west of Kentucky. When I get time, I'll document what's growing there and send it to wildflower people.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
[Last edited by CindiKS - Apr 1, 2013 7:01 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #382730 (1)
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
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JRsbugs
Apr 1, 2013 10:04 AM CST
It's very much like what we call Marsh Marigold, Caltha palustris in the family Ranunculaceae. Now all you need to do is find which it is! I haven't seen one with dark markings on the leaves.

http://www.google.co.uk/search?q=Caltha+palustris&um=1&ie=UT...

Marsh Marigold has toothed leaves where yours don't.

http://www.plant-identification.co.uk/skye/ranunculaceae/ran...

Ranunculus is a possibility, there appears to be no other Caltha species which yours could be unless some have dark markings on the leaves.

Ranunculus ficaria appears to have some with dark areas on the leaves, if the plant has been correctly identified.

http://wildcraftvita.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/lesser-celandine...

I have R. ficaria bulbifer, it makes small bulbils around the base of the plant, the plant dies back in summer then the bulbils spread everywhere!

http://hedgerowmobile.com/lessercelandine.html

It's not showing in the area you mention but is in KY. There's a list of genera down the left side of this link, I can't see if fits anywhere else.

http://luirig.altervista.org/floranam/ranunculus.htm





[Last edited by JRsbugs - Apr 1, 2013 10:11 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #382801 (2)
Name: Cindi
Wichita, Kansas (Zone 7a)
Charter ATP Member Plant and/or Seed Trader Permaculture Roses Ponds Peonies
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CindiKS
Apr 1, 2013 4:44 PM CST
Janet,
Thank you so much for the information! Lesser Celandine is my plant! I did some searching on R. ficaria, and found that it is listed as invasive in 2 states on the East coast. I will think twice about planting this in my yard! It has not spread far in my parents' yard in the last 20 years, though, and the climate where I am is much more harsh.
That Wildcraft Vita blog is an interesting link. Thank you for finding that one!
I appreciate your help solving this mystery.
cindi
Hurray! I tip my hat to you.
Remember that children, marriages, and flower gardens reflect the kind of care they get.
H. Jackson Brown, Jr.
Name: Janet Super Sleuth
Near Lincoln UK
Charter ATP Member Organic Gardener Garden Photography Bee Lover Dragonflies Cat Lover
Butterflies Birds Plant Identifier I was one of the first 300 contributors to the plant database! Spiders!
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JRsbugs
Apr 2, 2013 5:01 AM CST
You're welcome Cindi. Thumbs up

I cursed this plant where it kept spreading on a bank under a big tree I have, I removed it bit by bit as it grew but there's some in another place where I don't mind it growing. I used to try taking it our from there too, but now I quite like it! Hilarious!

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