Bleeding Heartland’s wildflower series might never have existed if not for this week’s featured plant. In May 2009, Elizabeth Hill took my family on a nature hike at Whiterock Conservancy and pointed out lots of spring flowers in bloom. On the way home, I asked my kids what their favorite part of the visit was. My three-and-a-half year old said “those Jack flowers.”
Jack-in-the-pulpits were among the few native plants I could identify at that time. My son was excited to learn we had some growing near our Windsor Heights home. That spring and summer, we started looking more closely at the wildflowers in our neighborhood and along local bike trails. Over the next several years, he and I learned the names of more flowers we saw on our walks.
When I launched Iowa wildflower Wednesday in 2012, I didn’t realize this hobby would eventually occupy so much of my time. While I enjoy learning to identify new plants every year, there is a special place in my heart for the ones I could pick out as a child.