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A Group Of Wild Flowers
Wildflower Families:
 Mustard Barberry, Spiderwort And Phlox Families

 Lily Family

 Lily-of-the-valley Family

 Madder Family

 Violet Family

 Iris Family Iridaceae

 Geranium Family

 Birthwort Family

 Primrose Family

 Milkwort Family

 Read More Articles About: Wildflower Families

Mustard Barberry, Spiderwort And Phlox Families

( Originally Published 1908 )

THE Toothworts are attractive spring flowers belonging to the Mustard Family (Cruciferce), which are often found growing abundantly in cool, damp woods. The perennial rootstocks have a peppery taste, which has given the plants the general name Pepper-root. In the Cut-leaved Toothwort the flowers vary from white to pink, while in the Two-leaved Toothwort they are white.

The May Apple or Wild Mandrake is known to everyone throughout its range, although it is not so generally known that the curious plant belongs to the Barberry family (Berberidaceae).

The interesting umbrella-like leaves of the plant at once distinguish it, as does also the good-sized white flower nodding from the fork between the leaves. The blossom seems to be devoid of nectar and is seldom visited by insects.

SPIDERWORT. In New England and some other regions that have long been occupied by the white man clumps of Spiderwort along the road-sides often mark the site of an old building whose former presence is shown only in the ruins of a deserted cellar and plants like this that have escaped from the garden where they once received tender care. There is always something pathetic in these strays from old gardens. They touch our human sympathies and stir the ties of friendship in a way that none of the native flowers can do unless they have been grown in this way. But in itself and apart from its associations the Spider-wort is a curious and interesting plant. In the central states and some of the southern states it is a native species, growing in rich woods where its blue flowers in the axils of the long leaves are very pretty. It is a typical representative of the Spiderwort family (Commelinaceae).

Moss PINK. The Moss Pink is a pretty little blossom belonging to the Phlox Family (Polemoniaceae), that grows naturally on rocky hillsides from New York to Florida and has escaped from cultivation over a much wider area. In New England one is likely to find it wherever there is an old neglected cemetery, from which it often wanders to the adjacent fields and woods. This is really a Dwarf Phlox, as a comparison of the flower with the garden Phloxes will readily show. Its brilliant pink blossoms make a very welcome addition to the colors of the spring landscape.

Sometimes the Moss Pink escapes from its place and becomes a wayside weed. But it is not likely to become troublesome in cultivated fields because it is readily killed when the ground is plowed.

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