Leah Wayright Kennel, Curator of Wildflower Island at Teatown Lake Resercation in Ossining, NY, on the County's Most Common Native Flowers

Not a shrinking violet, Leah Waybright Kennell, curator of Wildflower Island at Teatown Lake Reservation in Ossining, names the most common flowers native to the county.



Common Milkweed

(Asclepias syriaca)
Blooms: June to August
Growing in sandy soil and requiring lots of sunlight, this pink to dull purple flower, which has nectar with high glucose content, was used by Native Americans as a sweetener and is found in dry fields.

 

Wake-Robin

(Trillium erectum)
Blooms:  April to June
This dark reddish-purple, pink, white, or greenish flower can survive temperatures as low as -3° Fahrenheit. A member of the lily family, it’s found in dense woods.

 

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

(Arisaema triphyllum)
Blooms: March to June
Originally used by Native Americans as a treatment for sore eyes, this greenish-yellow flower belongs to the Arum family of perennials. Jack-in-the-Pulpits are commonly found in moist woodlands or swamps.

 

Scarlet Beebalm

(Monarda didyma)
Blooms: May to October
This flower is very fragrant, and its leaves have a minty aroma (it is, indeed, a member of the mint family); it can be used to flavor beverages. Bee-balm grows in wet meadows, thickets, and along stream banks.

 

Wild Geranium

(Geranium maculatum)
Blooms: March to July
Used in herbal medicine to alleviate sore throat, diarrhea, and mouth ulcers, it is most commonly found in the woods.

Starflower

(Trientalis borealis)
Blooms: May to June
The starflower is often found beneath pine trees or in the moist, acidic soil of woodland gardens, and its flower grows to  a half-inch in diameter. It’s a member of the primrose family.

 

 

Yellow Trout-Lily

(Erythronium americanum)
Blooms: March to May
Appearing in the spring, often before all the snow and ice has melted, the yellow trout-lily  belongs to the lily family. It has a one-inch-diameter flower, and can be found in dense woods.

 

Smooth Solomon’s Seal

(Polygonatum biflorum)
Blooms: March to June
If you are in the woods and see a small, greenish, bell-shaped flower drooping over, most likely it is a smooth Solomon’s seal. It belongs to the lily family and grows to between one to five feet.

 

Spotted Wintergreen

(Chimaphila maculata)
Blooms: June to August
Used medicinally to treat rheumatism and colds, this flower is an antibacterial, diuretic, stimulant, and tonic.

 

 

Wild Lily of the Valley

(Maianthemum canadanse)
Blooms: May to June
Small bees, flies, and miscellaneous beetles pollinate this sweetly scented, white (or, infrequently, pink) perennial belonging to the lily family and found in conifer woods.

 

Mayapple

(Podophyllum peltatum)
Blooms: March to May
Belonging to the barberry family, this pink-purple or white flower expands its leaves to form deeply lobed, umbrella-shaped leaves.

 

Pink Lady’s Slipper

(Cypripedium acaule)
Blooms: April to July
Found in both low, sandy woods and high, rocky woods, this pink and brown (or, sometimes, white and green) flower belongs to the orchid family. 

 
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