As April showers bring May flowers, I wanted to do a series on Iowa’s wildflowers. To start this series, I thought it would be a good idea to start with the basics of what a flower is and what the first flowers to bloom are.

To start, we’ll break down the parts of a flower.

 

To start, let’s look at the stamen which includes the anther and filament. The stamen is the grouping of the anther and filament together. The anther is the dark oval on the top of the skinny white stalk. The anther is what holds the pollen of the flower and the filament is just there to hold up the anther.

The pistil is the grouping of the stigma, style, and ovary. This is the part of the flower that allows for reproduction. When flowers produce seeds to be planted, this is where they come from.

The sepal is the leaf-like structure that supports the flower that will turn into a petal or will house a developing bud.

The receptacle is where the flower meets the stalk of the plant.

The peduncle or stem is the stalk that supports the flower.

The petal is the pretty part of the flower.

First Flowers of Spring

There are many spring ephemeral or short-lived wildflowers in Iowa. They are a sign that spring has sprung. Many of them can be found in woodlands that have a bit of a sandier soil. They shouldn’t be dug up from their native habitat but some nurseries might carry these plants if you would like to have your own.

A few common ones are: Pasque flowers, Wood Anemone, Dutchman’s Breeches, Hepaticas and Bloodroot.

As the spring continues, I hope to find some of these flowers out in our county areas right here in Dickinson County. Each week, I’ll pick one and see if I can find it. There will be an accompanying blog post to go along with each detailing if and where I was able to find the flower. If not, you will get to learn all about some of the great, native plants we still have here in Dickinson County.

Keep an eye out for those posts and if you find your own ephemerals, let us know! We would love to see your finds on social media like Facebook or Instagram.