Wild Flowers of Pittsburgh


Celandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum)

Like a larger version of the Celandine, this bright yellow poppy blooms at the same time, but is easily distinguished by its larger flowers with overlapping petals andbright orange stamens. These plants were blooming at the beginning of May along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

STYLOPHORUM Nutt. CELANDINE POPPY. Sepals 2, hairy. Petals 4. Style distinct, columnar; stigma 2-4-lobed. Pods bristly, 2-4-valved to the base. Seeds conspicuously crested. — Perennial low herbs, with stems naked below and oppositely 2-leaved, or sometimes 1-3-leaved, and umbellately 1-few-flowered at the summit; the flower-buds and the pods nodding. Leaves pinnately parted or divided. Juice yellow. (Fromstylos, style, and pherein, to bear, one of the distinctive characters.)

S. diphyllum (Michx.) Nutt. Leaves pale beneath, smoothish, deeply pinnatifid into бог 7 oblong sinuate-lobed divisions, and the root-leaves often with a pair of small distinct leaflets; peduncles equaling the petioles; flower deep yellow (5 cm. broad); stigmas 3 or 4; pod ovoid. —Damp woods, w. Pa. to Wisc., “Mo.,” and Tenn. May. —Foliage and flower resembling Celandine.


Squirrel Corn (Dicentra canadensis)

A charming white Bleeding-Heart with delicately divided leaves; but for the shape of the flowers, it is very similar to Dutchman’s Breeches. This one was blooming at the beginning of May along the Trillium Trail in Fox Chapel.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

DICÉNTRA Berah. Petals slightly cohering into a heart-shaped or 2-spurred corolla, either deciduous or withering-persistent. Stigma 2-crested and sometimes 2-horned. Filaments slightly united into two sets. Pod 10-20-seeded. Seeds crested. — Low stemless perennials (as to our wild species) with ternately compound and dissected leaves, and racemose nodding flowers. Pedicels 2-bracted. (Name from dis, twice, and kentron, a spur; — accidentally printed Diclytra in the first instance, which by an erroneous conjecture was changed afterwards into Dielytra.) Bikukulla Adams. Bicuculla Millsp.

Raceme simple, few-flowered.

D. canadensis (Goldie) Walp. (SQUIRREL CORN.) Subterranean shoots bearing scattered grain-tike tubers (resembling peas or grains of Indian corn, yellow); leaves as in no. 1 [Dutchman’s Breeches, D. cucullaria]; corolla merely heart-shaped, the spurs very short and rounded; crest of the inner petals conspicuous, projecting. (Bicuculla Millsp.) — Rich woods, N. S. to Ont. and Minn., s. to Va., Ky., and Mo. Apr., May. — Flowers greenish white tinged with rose, with the fragrance of hyacinths.

Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis)

These cheery little flowers pop up at about the same time as the Coltsfoots; this plant was a late-bloomer in mid-April, when most of its neighbors had already finished blooming, beside a back road in Fox Chapel. The flowers open before the leaves are fully unfurled, so each flower stem is elegantly wrapped in a shell-like green leaf. The English and Latin names both come from the fact that the root is full of red juice.

Gray describes the genus and the species:

SANGUINARIA [Dill.] L. BLOODROOT. Sepals 2. Petals 8-12, spatulate-oblong. Stamens about 24. Style short; stigma 2-grooved. Pod ellipsoid or fusiform, turgid, 1-celled, 2-valved. Seeds with a large crest. — Low perennial; its thick prostrate rootstocks (surcharged with red-orange acrid juice) sending up in earliest spring a palmate-lobed leaf and 1-flowered scape. Flower white, handsome, the bud erect, the petals not crumpled. (Name from the color of the juice.)

S. canadensis L. — Open rich woods; common. Apr., May.