Michigan Native Flowers
Jack-in-the-pulpit is an intriguing wildflower native to eastern and midwestern North America, but is easily grown in shade gardens elsewhere. It gets its common name from its odd flower: a pouch-shaped spathe (“pulpit”) with an overhanging hood that surrounds a fingerlike central spadix (“Jack”).
Jack-in-the-pulpit produces one to two 3-lobed leaves 12 to 18 inches high. The leaves appear in early spring as does the flower, which is composed of a green-and-purple striped spathe bent over at its tip to partly hide the green clublike spadix. After the flower fades, a cluster of bright red berries appears and lasts for much of the summer. The leaves fade away in midsummer if the plant is not watered regularly but grow back in spring from an underground tuber. Ease of care of jack-in-the-pulpit: Easy.
Growing jack-in-the-pulpit: This plant naturally grows on rich, moist forest floors and so is perfectly suited to shady gardens. Add plenty of compost or peat moss at planting time.
True lilies grow from plump, scaly bulbs. They are magnificent flowers that command attention wherever they are planted. Lily flowers are valued for their very showy, often fragrant flowers. The 6 plain or strikingly marked tepals (“petals”) are often trumpet-shaped, sitting atop tall, erect stems. At home in both formal and naturalistic settings, lilies also most take readily to containers. They all make wonderful cut flowers. By carefully blending early, mid-season, and late varieties into your garden, you will enjoy their bewitching blooms and seductive scents from spring through frost. Plant bulbs in autumn. Loosen the soil to a depth of 12 to 15 inches. The deep planting encourages the developing stem to send out roots to help stabilize the plant and perhaps eliminate the need for staking.
White trillium is a herbaceous perennial, it is native to eastern North America, from northern Quebec to the southern parts of the United States through the Appalachian Mountains into northernmost Georgia and west to Minnesota. It also thrives on Vancouver Island. There are also several disjunctive populations, such as in Nova Scotia and Iowa, and of course, it thrives within the woods of northern Michigan.
The plant is most common in rich, mixed upland forests. It is easily recognized by its attractive three-petal white flowers, opening from late spring to early summer, that rise above three, leaf-like bracts. It is an example of a spring, spring ephemeral, a plant whose life-cycle is synchronized with that of the decidouis woodland which it favors.
Lady’s slipper orchids (also known as lady slipper orchids or slipper orchids) are orchids in the that are characterized by the slipper-shaped pouches of the flowers – the pouch traps insects so they are forced to climb up past the staminode, behind which they collect or deposit pollina, thus fertilizing the flower. Unlike other orchids, they have two fertile anthers. Showy Lady’s Slipper orchids grow in cool, moist environments. If you think orchids grow only in hot, humid tropical climats, the Showy Lady’s Slipper orchid will make you think again. Showy Lady’s Slipper is rare in the wild and difficult, but not impossible, to cultivate in the garden.