I did not have to travel far for my contribution to this week’s Travel Challenge: Pale.
Spring is taking its time to reach the garden this year. But, at long last, one of my woodland favorites is here: Jeffersonia dyphilla is venturing its first white blooms.
This lovely native wildflower was named after Thomas Jefferson by his friend, John Bartram, once Royal Botanist to King George III. Bartram published this country’s first nursery catalog: “…the Botanick fire set me in such A flame as is not to be quenched untill death or I explore most of the South western vegitative treasures in No. America,” he wrote. I can relate.
Jeffersonia blooms around its namesake’s birthday on April 13, but its first buds debut weeks before that. Each delicate bloom has but a couple of days to shine. And, each day, it unravels, slowly. If you are still, you can almost sense the flutter of the petals.
As flowers fade, the leaves take their place. This plant is called “twinleaf” in vernacular, its two-part leaves like butterfly wings.
By May, other garden dwellers burst onto center stage. Still, I cherish my memories of those pale twinleaf blooms well into fall and winter–until the next splash of them makes a fleeting appearance.