NOTICING NATURE | 3 EARLY SPRING PLANTS

Be careful when you step outside in early spring. These plants are starting to grow right under your feet! Look around and see what you can find!

Purple Deadnettle (Lamium purpureum)

This plant is not as dangerous as it sounds! The name "Deadnettle" refers to the fact that the leaves look very similar to stinging nettle, but they do not sting and are therefore considered "dead". The plant itself is actually very edible and used for a variety of medicinal purposes. It is a member of the mint family, and has a square stem just like all other members of this family.

Woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)

Not all plants with 3 leaves are dangerous! The small woodland strawberry is a welcome sight in many fields and forests. It grows low to the ground and makes a great edible ground cover that won't travel uncontrollably throughout the yard, as it has a hard time propagating from seed. Instead, it reproduces by sending out a runner with a daughter plant growing at the end. It acts similar to an umbilical cord, supplying the daughter with nutrients it cannot obtain by itself. Once the daughter plant finds fertile ground and establishes roots, the runner will dry up and wither away, leaving the new plant on its own!

Georgia Blue Speedwell (Veronica peduncularis)

Although it is native to Asia, this plant and it's cousins in the Speedwell genus have become a common sight in American lawns and gardens. It makes a beautiful ground cover, forming thick mats of white and blue flowers that bloom in mass in the spring, then continue to appear in smaller numbers throughout the summer.

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