Pacific Bleeding Heart
The Pacific Bleeding heart (Dicentra formosa) is, above all others, my first love and my favorite deciduous plant. The leaves in this picture are blurry so you can't see how incredibly beautiful they are. But they litter the forest floor in the early spring before the sword ferns take over. Their blooms are heart shaped, hence the common name. And I thought this picture was special because of the little insect perched on the seed, undoubtedly seeking a meal. Normally, ants are the animals that collect (and so disperse) the seeds. There is a special coating on the tiny black bead-like seeds that come out of that pistol you see in the picture which attracts ants. But that's not to say others don't like it as well.
This flower was an extra special find. I had to hike halfway up a mountain (the Olympics) and I spied it a distance off the trail. It was almost buried amongst the leaves and there was only the one. It was difficult reaching it to take the picture. But I have never been more excited to find a flower.
False Solomon's Seal
I really love the group of flowers in the Lily family which includes this False Solomon's Seal. In particular, I like the way the leaves clasp the stem. This plant is related to the Star-Flowered False Solomon's Seal (of course), the Rosy Twisted Stalk, and the Clasping Twisted Stalk, and Fairybells, among others. I plan on collecting a clear set of pictures to include all of them next spring when they bloom again. My album hobby for the spring will be the Lily family.
This strange looking flower totally tripped me out when I first saw it this year. I first saw it before it had blooms and the leaves looked so similar to the leaves of the Bleeding Heart that I knew it had to be related. But these grow much taller than the Bleeding Hearts and branch, whereas the Bleeding Heart leaves don't. But I looked in the Bleeding Heart family and found it easily. When it bloomed, my identification was further confirmed. I was also surprised to see the blooms because they remind me of a tiny version of foxglove (which is in another family entirely!). I think I have a picture in another blog of this flower in a field of blooms. It is also known as Pink Corydalis.