Alex Palmer's Natural History Notes and Thoughts

Thoughts and reflections on various social and environmental issues, as well as naturalist observations from the great outdoors.

Barren Strawberry

At 10:00 am this morning, I noticed it was sunny and dry with partly cloudy skies, a cool breeze from the east, and a steady temperature of around 50 degrees F. It had been somewhat dreary the previous day, with an occasional light rain and a temperature in the mid-40s.

I decided at this time to go for a short walk in the ravine on my school’s campus. As I descended into the ravine along a ski trail, I noticed small yellow flowers blooming along the flood plain of Bay City Creek (the stream that flows through the school’s ravine). I immediately became curious and flipped through my wildflower guides. The description I found read like this (from Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide, published by Little Brown and Company, 1977):
Yellow flowers in a small cluster. The wedge-shaped leaflets resemble those of the Wild Strawberry. Fruit dry and inedible. Woods. Spring. Rose Family.

Rose family? It was amazing to think that his little yellow flower growing low to the ground was in the rose family! The flower I am talking about is called Barren Strawberry (Waldsteinia fragarioides), and it is yet another sign that spring is progressing and that summer is on its way!

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