Tuesday, April 6, 2010


If I said the Leavenworthia uniflora blooms have blanketed the barrens in a riot of colors, I would be exaggerating. It would be pretty hard for a plant barely more than one inch tall, bearing a tiny white flower, to cause a riot.

These plants thrive in some very harsh conditions. The soil is a combination of rocks, tiny rocks and a little bit of clay. To survive here is a challenge, but to develop into such a lovely little flowering plant is remarkable.

These two plants are growing from protective clusters of stones. Depressions formed in the soil where there were no protective rocks to absorb the energy of falling rains. Any plants trying to grow there would have been destroyed.

Something on the picture for perspective gives you a better idea of how tiny these plants really are. Someone thought those were bare legs until I pointed out the extra knee. If you haven’t figured it out, those are my fingers. It’s easy to see why this plant goes unnoticed by many casual hikers.

The tip of my pinky finger dwarfs the basal leaves of this Leavenworthia. The single flower will probably produce about six seeds that will sit around the barrens until they germinate next winter.


  1. Wow, what a demure little beauty. I'm not sure I've seen this one before. Don't you just love this time of year, looking for all the new blooms?

  2. Heather - The way the weather has been, things are developing almost too fast to keep up with. I'm trying hard not to miss anything.