Tucked way beneath the heart-shaped leaves and resting on the ground are the flowers of the Wild Ginger.
Despite what you see, they are pollinated by beetles, not cicadas!
Wild Ginger, that is, not the ginger humans use for cooking. (And we squirrels know about this because everyone asks!)
Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense, is a fabulous spring wildflower, with heart-shaped leaves that are slightly fuzzy. The flowers are hidden, so get down on your bees’ knees and take a look under the leaves.
They sit on the ground and are pollinated by beetles.
Hey there! It’s Sunday and our blog’s break for good behavior from the Blogging A To Z Challenge. But more importantly, it’s The Squirrel Nutwork’s Sunday column, sometimes known as What is it?
If you’re a new reader joining us from the Challenge, this is the day we post a nature photo, local to us in Virginia—unless otherwise noted—and ask you to make guesses as to what it is. The things may or may not be native to Virginia, I—this is Hickory Squirrel, by the way—am not picky! This column is my brainstorm, and I guess because this is Mystery # 53, we are starting our second year of mystery posts. Sorry I missed the anniversary last week. Oh, well, that’s Nutmeg’s thing, not mine.
So here goes: Give me a guess for what you think this is!
Check back with you later!
Did you give up? These are the flowers of the Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense.
Yep, this one is a native, a low growing ground cover that can not be harvested for seasoning your human food—that’s a different ginger plant with a huge root. These purple flowers pretty much lie on the ground, under the leaves and if you’re thinking no self-respecting bee will ever get under there and find them, you’re right. Wild Ginger flowers are pollinated by beetles.
Not the kind people buy in the store. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this root.
Too skinny to be of any use in cooking, but it does smell like ginger. Again, I do NOT recommend you taste it. Do your own research.
This is Wild Ginger, Asarum canadense. Don’t let the name fool you; it’s also found in the United States.
The leaves are a nice heart shape that you’ll notice right off, but the flower on this one is hard to see. Get down on your knees. No, lower than that, low like on squirrel knees.
It’s a little red-brown thing that sort of looks like dirt. Miz Flora says it smells good to some kind of beetle and they come around to feed on the nectar. Good thing. No self-respecting bee would ever get this down and dirty.