It's true that April's showers bring May's Flowers! These beauties are all around us in Western North Carolina.
Multiflora rose (Rosa multiflora)
Multiflora rose is an invasive species from Asia that thrives in our area. It was brought to the United States in the 1860's as a valuable agricultural product. Farmers would plant the multiflora rose around the perimeter of a cattle field to create a "living fence" that required low maintenance and provided wildlife habitat as well as food. The petals, leaves, and berries (called "hips"), like all roses, are completely edible and high in Vitamin C. Unfortunately they couldn't contain their containment system, and the plant quickly spread throughout fields and forests, where it continues to thrive to this day.
ORANGE DAYLILY (Hemerocallis fulva)
The orange daylily (Hemerocallis fulva) was brought to North America from Asia as an important food source and easy-to-grow perennial flower. Every part of this plant is edible, including the gorgeous orange flower petals! But you have to be quick to harvest the flowers; as the name implies, each flower only blooms for one day!
VIRGINIA SPIDERWORT (Tradescantia virginiana)
This plant gets its name because the angular shape and arrangement of the leaves make it look like a squatting spider. Its delicate purple flowers open in the morning, and by evening they will turn into a jelly-like fluid.