Spring flowers are exploding across Iowa. If you’re out in the woods this coming week, expect to see plenty of violets, spring beauties, sweet William, and littleleaf buttercup or larger buttercups. If you’re lucky, you may see some bellwort or Jack-in-the-pulpits too. Toothwort and Virginia bluebells are fading in my corner of central Iowa, but sweet Cicely and May apples (umbrella plants) are starting to bloom, and buds have formed on wild geranium and Virginia waterleaf.
Today’s featured flowering plant is a shrub native to much of the U.S. east of the Rocky Mountains. In Iowa, it usually blooms in April or May. Missouri gooseberry (Ribes missouriense) plants produce fruit that is sour but edible for humans. However, it’s a challenge to harvest the berries before the birds pick the bushes clean.
After the pictures of Missouri gooseberry, I’ve enclosed a couple of shots of another shrub you are likely to see flowering in Iowa woods now. Unfortunately, those sweet-smelling honeysuckle plants are considered invasive.
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