Monday, 21 March 2011

Chrysosplenium alternifolium L.

Name: Chrysosplenium alternifolium L.
Familia: Saxifragaceae
Croatian name: Žutina
English name: Golden saxifrage

A perennial plant, with kidney-shaped leaves. It can be found in woods in shade, growing on moist ground. Stems are triangular, somewhat hairy, 5 - 15 cm high. Alternate, green to golden yellow leaves are spirally arranged on stem.
Flowers have no petals. There are four tiny sepals and eight stamens.
The plant is flowering from March  to May.

Eranthis hyemalis (L.) Salisb.

Name: Eranthis hyemalis (L.) Salisb.
Familia: Ranunculaceae
Croatian name: Ozimica
English name: Winter Aconite

Perennial plant that grows from the rhizome. It appears in early Spring in woodlands often carpeting the ground. Plant is usually 5 - 10 cm high, with palmate glossy leaves appearing after the chalice-shaped flowers. The yellow flower has a sepal-like frill or ruff. Fruit is follicle.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Allium ursinum L.

Name: Allium ursinum L.
Familia: Liliaceae
Croatian name: Medvjeđi luk, srijemuš, crijemuš
English name: Ramsons

Perennial plant that grows from a oval, 2-6 cm long bulb. The plant appears in Spring in woods, mostly on moist, rich humus ground often in a very large number. It flowers from April to June. it is native to Europe and western Asia. 
There are usually two long ovate leaves that come from the bulb, and one stem bearing the group of white flowers. Fruit is capsulla bearing several black seed. the whole plant has a scent characteristic to onion family.

Image credit: Danijel Balaško

The plant is edible. It is used as medicinal plant: diuretic, antiseptic, skin cure;

Daphne mezereum L.

Daphne mezereum L.
Familia: Thymelaeaceae
Croatian name: Obični likovac
English name: Mezereon, Dwarf bay

This is a small deciduous bush, up to 1.5 m tall, native to Europe and Western Asia. It grows in woodlans on lime rich soils. The leaves are pale green and soft, 3 - 8 cm long, spirally arranged on the tips of the stems. Flowers are pink, scented and sessile (no flower stem). They appear in early Spring before the leaves.
Fruit is red berry.

image: caliban

The whole plant is poisonous.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Paris quadrifolia L.

image credit: Danijel Balaško

Name: Paris quadrifolia L.
Familia: Melanthiaceae (ex Liliaceae) 
Croatian name: Petrov križ
English name: One-berry, Herb Paris

Perennial plant, up to 40 cm tall, with creeping, scaly rhizome. Stem upright, bearing four whorled leaves (hence the name quadrifolia) and a flower at the top. As seen on the picture, five leaves also appear.
It flowers in May and June in woodland and forests on moist, humus rich soil.
The fruit is a blackish-blue berry containing up to 20 seeds.

The plant is poisonous but it serves as antidote to mercury and arsenic poisoning.

Erythronium dens-canis L.

Image credit: Danijel Balaško

Name: Erythronium dens-canis L.
Famila: Liliaceae
Croatian name: Pasji zub
English name: Dog's Tooth Violet

This is spring flowering perennial plant that grows on moist meadows and forests in the beginning of Spring. The flower has six tepals violet in colour and folded backwards. They remind to one of cyclamen, but they are much larger. There are six anthers and one pistil in the flower. Rarely, the flowers may be also white. One single stem bears one flower. The two ground level leaves have reddish-brown spots on the surface but, there are also leaves without spots to be found.
The plant grows from a large bulb that looks like dog's tooth; hence the name. Fruit is capsula containing lots of seeds that are distributed by ants.

There are many cultivars derived from Erythronium species that find their use in horticulture.

The species is protected in Croatia.

Leucojum vernum L.

image credit: Danijel Balaško

Name: Leucojum vernum L.
Family: Amaryllidaceae 
Croatian name: Proljetni drijemovac
English name: Spring Snowflake

This is a perennial plant native to central and southern Europe, but it is naturalized in many other areas such as North America. It is also popular garden plant. It grows from the bulb, appearing in early Spring after snowdrops. 
It is usually 20 cm high. Single stem bears one white flower. The flower make 6 tepals with a green spot on their tips, 6 anthers and one pistil. Loves rich and moist soil and can be found on wet meadows and woods.

Like snowdrop, Leucojum is protected species in Croatia.

image credit : Wikipedia

The plant is poisonous.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Tussilago farfara L.

Name: Tussilago farfara L.
Famliy: Asteraceae
Croatian name: Podbijel
English name: Coltsfoot

Native to Europe and Asia, this 15 - 20 cm high perennial grows from a short horizontal rhizome. It flowers in early spring before the leaves come out. Flower stems are covered with reddish to green scales and bear one single inflorescence. 30 to 40 middle tubular flowers are surrounded by up to 300 tongue shaped flowers. Stems droop after flowering.

Leaves come later, after the seed is set. They are covered underneath with white hairs. They are round to heart shaped and covered with white hairs on the reverse side.
Seeds have white papus that makes them fly in the wind.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Asplenium trichomanes L.

Name: Asplenium trichomanes L
Family: Aspleniaceae
Croatian name: Slezenica
English name: maidenhair spleenwort

This is a small fern occurring almost everywhere in the world. There are several subspecies to be found. Most commonly it grows in rock cracks from short hairy rhizome. The frond are narrow and long, usually about 20 cm long, evergreen. They bear narrow sori that contain spores on the other side of the small leaves (pinnae).

Image: Wikipedia

Monday, 7 March 2011

Asplenium scolopendrium L.

Name: Asplenium scolopendrium L.
syn. Phyllitis scolopendrium (L.) Newm.
Family: Aspleniaceae
Croatian name: Jelenak, Jelenja paprat
Enlish name: hart's tongue

This is evergreen, perennial fern native to south and middle Europe. It grows on lime rich and wet ground. It can be found in shaded areas were water springs or rinse the rocks, in woodland.
This fern distinguished from the other ferns by unique undivided, 10 - 60 cm long tongue-shaped leaves. They are leathery to touch, shiny and dark green in colour. The leaf basis is heart-shaped and somewhat hairy. 
Sori are arranged on the back side in rows.


It is often grown as ornamental plant. There are cultivars with ruffled leaves.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Helleborus dumetorum W.K.

Name: Helleborus dumentorum W.K.
Family: Ranunculaceae
Croatian name: Sitnocvjetni kukurijek
English name: hellebore

This perennial plant appears in late Winter and early Spring (February to March) in woodlands. The genus is native to Europe, but the greatest concentration of species occurs in the Balkans. 
It is a perennial plant that grows from rhizome. Flowers have five petals and are green in colour. They have many stamens and pistils. Leaves are basal, serrate, pedate with 9-12 segments.
Fruit is follicle.

Image: Tim Murphy (taken in Croatia).

For more on helleborus see HERE

Crocus neapolitanus

Name: Crocus neapolitanus (Ker-Gawl.) Seb. et M.
syn. Crocus vernus
Family: Iridaceae
Croatian name: šafran
English name: crocus

There are several species of crocus in Croatia. This one flowers in early Spring.
Crocus is a perennial plant, native to Europe, North Africa and all the way eastwards to China. It can be found in mountain as well as coastal areas growing on meadows, scrub and woodlands. 
The plant grows from corm. Leaves are lineal and have central white stripe. Flowers are cup-shaped, usually violet or white. They have six tepals. Typically, flower has three stamens. Flowers remain unopened if there is no sun.

Autumn flowering crocus is often mistaken for Colchicum autumnale, which flowers look pretty much the same. But, if you look closely, you will find that there are no leaves and the flowers are bigger.

Crocus species are today popular in the gardens and have many cultivars.

NB. The spice saffron is obtained from the stigmas of Crocus sativus, an autumn/fall-blooming species.

Location: Lipik