Mystery Flower in the Woods

There is a spring bubbling up in the privacy of a wooded area on our property. Except for a path through the woods that makes it possible to walk all the way around the pond created by the spring, we leave the woods to be wild. Sometimes we find evidence of creatures who likely come there to drink.

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This mysterious flower was blooming in the shade, near a natural spring in the woods.

 

Last July I was walking on the path back there and saw a flower, two of them, that I had never seen before. They were blooming in the shade among the ferns, and prickly vines that made it hard for me to get close. I took some pictures with my phone, and when I went back there about a week later, the flowers were gone.

They were fleeting and beautiful, and now in the middle of winter, sitting by the fireplace, I’m wondering if I will see them again next July. I will certainly be looking for them.

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Do you think this is an edible mushroom?

In the meantime, I am going to try to find out what flower it is. I’m thinking that someone at Clemson might be able to help me, or if I’m lucky, someone will see the picture and just tell me what it is. While you’re at it, you could tell me what kind of forest mushroom this is…

3 Replies to “Mystery Flower in the Woods”

    1. Carolina Lily (Lilium michauxii)
      The Carolina Lily is a scarce and exciting flower that can be found in dry woods in July and August. It has one to six blossoms at the summit of its stem. This magnificent flower is yellow to reddish-orange, spotted with brown. The six tepals (3 petals and 3 sepals) are strongly reflexed (bent back), and six slender filaments topped by brown anthers protrude from the center of the flower, as does a long style with a three-lobed stigma. Each nodding flower is about three inches in diameter.
      The fleshy leaves have smooth margins and occur in whorls along the sturdy 1 to 4 foot stem. Each leaf is about 3 inches long and 1/2 to 3/4 inches wide, broadest above the middle.

      The lily comes from a scaly bulb and can be propagated by scale division or by seed. It is an attractive plant and worthy of cultivation. Plant in a well-prepared soil with plenty of organic matter worked into it. Several hours a day of sunlight are necessary for blooms.

      It was named for the French botanist, Andre Michaux, who traveled widely in the southeastern United States.

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