Spring-beauty, Cuckoo-flower and Crowfoot: May 2021

After several days of photographing birds, I decided to come to Sunnybrook Park and have a look at wildflowers.


I will identify it at the end of the post:

It is easy to see how Spring-beauty got its name:

Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)

The petals are usually pale pink with deeper coloured veins:

Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)
Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica)

Cuckoo-flower is an attractive spring-flowering plant found around the world in northern latitudes.

Cuckoo-flower (Cardamine pratensis)

Cuckoo-flower grows in wet bogs and marshy ground and at the borders of forest pools and streams.

Cuckoo-flower (Cardamine pratensis)

Its common name cuckoo-flower derives from the formation of the plant’s flowers at around the same time as the arrival each spring of the first cuckoos in the British Isles.

Cuckoo-flower (Cardamine pratensis)
Cuckoo-flower (Cardamine pratensis)

Crowfoot is a member of the buttercup family. Hooked Crowfoot is often seen at the foot of trees along trails.

Hooked Crowfoot (Ranunculus recurvatus)
Hooked Crowfoot (Ranunculus recurvatus)

Other plants:

Lesser Celandine (Ficaria verna)
American Beech (Fagus grandifolia)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
Celandine (Chelidonium majus)
White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum)
Wild Geranium (Geranium maculatum)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)
Trout-lily (Erythronium americanum)
Spruce Pollen cones
Hop-hornbeam (Ostrya virginiana)
Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadense)
May-apple (Podophylum peltatum)
Early Meadow-rue (Thalictrum dioicum)
Norway Maple hybrid
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Staghorn Sumac (Rhus typhina)
Basswood (Tilia americana)
Prickly Gooseberry (Ribes cynosbati)
White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
Black raspberry (Rubus occidentalis)
Northern Blue Violet (Viola pallens)
Morrow Honeysuckle (Lonicera morrowii)
Alternate-leaved Dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
Starry False Solomon-seal (Maianthemum stellatum)
Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa)
Red Pine (Pinus resinosa)
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)
Balsam Poplar (Populus balsamifera)
Peduncled Sedge (Carex pedunculata)


The 4 white-petalled flowers of this invasive species are abundant at the moment: Garlic Mustard.

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)


Ann Baldwin in Oceanside, CA, writes about this odd encounter:

“I heard a juvenile Red-shouldered Hawk calling. Then I saw a small bird fly onto a branch very close. I grabbed my camera and could hardly believe what I saw: the Hawk staring at a male House Finch almost beak-to-beak for around 4 minutes. Nature never ceases to amaze!”


The birds around me hopped and played,
Their thoughts I cannot measure:—
But the least motion which they made
It seemed a thrill of pleasure…                                    – William Wordsworth (1770–1850)  

Miles Hearn

3 thoughts on “Spring-beauty, Cuckoo-flower and Crowfoot: May 2021

  1. Muriel Steeb

    I enjoy adding the garlic mustard to my salads!
    It is pleasantly edible.!
    It enhances store bought greens……
    I joke that I should start a false rumour that garlic mustard is an aphrodisiac, then it would be eradicated in record time!!!!!!!!

  2. Lisa Volkov

    Eek! An amazing picture, for sure–but what happened next? Four minutes? I guess the Hawk was amazed and confused, seeing dinner serving itself. But what was the House Finch (not) thinking?
    Personally, I am absolutely thrilled to be able to see spring wildflowers up close and personal, through these wonderful pictures (also, the location!) While I am greatly enjoying–enormously enjoying! The gardens and trees of the neighbourhoods right now, it is absolutely delightful to also see what I am missing, which I greatly miss. Thank you so much, Miles!
    And of course, I feel like a perfect idiot, not immediately identifying the flowers of the ubiquitous Garlic Mustard. How could I possibly miss that one? Ah well–it’s a memory issue. It certainly looked familiar!
    Anyway, I did get to see it this way, even if many people would like to see less of it!

  3. Pina

    Wonderful photos, as usual! Finally spring is well on the way!
    Ann Baldwin’s photo was stunning!


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