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Monday, March 24, 2008

Awakening Time

It's wonderful to see some of the woodland plants being revealed as the snow continues to shrink. I made these early spring discoveries a few days ago in areas where the sun's rays have quickly melted the snow around.

Oregon Grape
Mahonia aquifolium
Family: Berberidaceae

Location: east side of driveway, near road -This evergreen shrub is low growing here and gets the full afternoon sun which gives some of its leaves a reddish coloration. Another name for this plant is holly leaved barberry.

The Oregon Grape was one of the 178 new plant species documented by explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark. It was first seen as they journeyed down the Columbia River in 1805 in present-day Washington State.

Wild Strawberry
Fragaria virginiana
Family: Rosaceae

Location: woods, adjacent to the forest trail close to a decaying tree stump surrounded by moss.

straw - Old English streaw
The "straw" in strawberry has its origin in the verb "to strew" and refers to the vines with which the strawberry covers the ground.