Starflower by Sara Wright

Bloodroot before opening

Snow tide

recedes,

 shrinking waves 

expose papery

oak leaves,

thick tree roots,

pine needles,

fallen lichens,

rich humus

in the making…

Mycelial networks

  curl tips and tendrils

embrace decay.

  Northern Woodlands

no matter how

scarred

emerge deep

from winter sleep.

 Celandine’s

ruffled leaves

unfurl

even before

purple crocus,

promise golden

flowers to feed

wild bees for months.

When bloodroot

spikes appear

white stars

will follow.

And for a moment

 Time

 becomes a Flower.

For me the goddess of the earth in her most tender and generative state will always be a spring flower. Persephone rising.

Spring ephemerals – the wild woodland flowers that bloom before the trees leaf out are my favorite plants of all. Because greater celandine also blooms here on and off during most of the summer months it can’t be considered an ephemeral, and yet the plant’s blue green leaves unfurl  before any others make an appearance, so for me anyway, celandine marks the coming of spring if not the first flowers. For the past two years the plant has emerged in March, about three weeks earlier than previous years…

Bloodroot is a spring ephemeral but in Maine it doesn’t appear in most areas until May. While having some work done to the cellar last year I thought I lost most of my bloodroot, but I was mistaken. It survived.

My relationship with this plant goes back to early childhood and my love of all flowers. (My first word was “Fower”). At my grandmother’s house my mother planted a wildflower garden where bloodroot thrived… so when I gaze into star-like flowers I think of my Motherline and the advent of spring.

BIO: Sara is a naturalist, ethologist (a person who studies animals in their natural habitats) (former) Jungian Pattern Analyst, and a writer. She publishes her work regularly in a number of different venues and is presently living in Maine.



Categories: General, Nature

Tags: , , , ,

5 replies

  1. Beautiful! Bloodroot was the first wildflower I planted in my garden 33 years ago and it always the first up, bravely popping its head up and blooming while all the others are still asleep. Celandine just volunteered in my garden two years ago and is now spreading all over with its cheery little yellow face. Your poem perfectly expressed the joy and inspiration these little envoys of new life bring me each spring after an arduous New England winter.

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  2. Yes! I have bloodroot in various places – one flower is readying for bloom – some are spikes, others still underground – Love these plants! Celandine is considered an invasive by ‘experts’ – what this translates for me is that this incredibly useful plant does well on its own!!! Bees and butterflies love it and its easy to remove if you don’t want it. Pollinator friendly – no care, easy removal, no pests – good heavens why doesn’t everyone grow this plant?

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  3. To all – is anyone else having to sign in before getting to this site. I have to every single day.

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  4. Such a beautiful poem- thank you. I was looking at Bloodroot today and thinking the leaves remind me a little of Sassafras- one, two or three lobes like mittens- but the bloodroot can have five or six. The ephemerals are such magical plants. Their roots can be as old as the trees, but the flowers only show when conditions are just right.

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