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Week 6:

Pocket Guide

for Your Phone

 Week 6

Printable Pocket

Journal (PDF) 

Click the PDF icon to the left. Set to print at 95% or fit

to page. Cut around the grey border before folding.

Week 6: Spring Ephemerals:

Ephemeral: Lasting only a very short time.


This week we are looking at 4 early wildflower species.

The early nature of their bud and bloom period plays an

important role in their community.  They provide essential

food for early pollinators.  

Plants We Will Identify:

Tussilago farfara


Traits: Bright yellow dandelion-like

flowerhead; scaly stem

Size: Flowerhead about 1 inch 
wide; 3 - 12 inches tall
Habitat: Roadsides, stony rubble,

disturbed areas

Trailing Arbutus aka Mayflower
Epigaea repens


Traits: Fragrant pink or white flowers grow in small clusters

close to ground; leathery oval leaves, stems densely hairy
Size: Flowers about 1/2 inch; leaves 1 - 3 inches long
Habitat: Sandy or rocky soils, sunny trail-sides.

False Hellebore aka Indian Poke
Veratrum virid


Traits: Yellowish-green flowers; leaves long,

oval or lance-shaped, strongly ribbed
Size: Flowers about 1/2 - 1 inch 
wide; leaves 6 - 14 inches long

Habitat: Wet woods.

Common Dandelion
Taraxacum officinale


Traits: Bright yellow flowers at tip of long stalks; long,

lance-shaped leaves deeply divided into many sharp segments
Size: Flowerheads 1 - 2 inches
 wide; leaves 2 - 15 inches long
Habitat: Lawns, fields, roadside


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Coltsfoot and flower fly.                               Coltsfoot

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Trailing Arbutus can be both pink and white.

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False Hellebore

False Hellebore

s1-dandelion copy.jpg

Budding Dandelion

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Common Dandelion

Follow the folding

instructions below:


Trailing Arbutus copy.jpg
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Flower Power Walk

1. Choose a sunny day and look for blooming

flowers in your yard or along a trail.
2. See how many flowers you 
can find of the same color. 
3. Do the sniff test and find out 
which ones are fragrant.
4. Count the number of petals 
each flower has.

* Record what you find in the field notes

   section in your printed pocket journal.     n


             notes section of each page.

Flower pounding: Visit the Artful Parent for step-by-step

instructions on flower pounding to create beautiful flags. 

Great for all ages with adult supervision.

Flower Inspired Snacks! (Nom nom nom):

Learn how to create a variety of flowers from items

you probably already have in your fridge.  Lunchtime 

never looked so good!


Dandelion Playdough: Who wouldn't love to make

and play with this flower petal dough?  Talk about a

great sensory experience for all ages.

Making Flower art: Kinder Art provides 6 different

ways to make flower art in this post.  

Make paper flower ornaments: Not just for Christmas! 

These flower seed paper ornaments can be planted in the

garden for beautiful blooms.  Make them to give as a card

or Mothers Day present too! 

Each week we feature a lesser known naturalist in our Pocket Journal Series. 
In this space you will find the full quote and more information about the author.  Enjoy.


James Lucas, ethnobotany Ph.D. candidate,

Washington University in St. Louis, Colby College Class of 2015

Plants are one of the most useful organisms.  Across cultures, plants—as food, medicine, clothing, dyes, timber, cosmetics, and paper—have long played key utilitarian roles in history, gastronomy, agriculture, religion, and the arts.  Yet today, urban life and consumerism have thrown a veil on our botanical dependence, hampering our ability to identify even native plants: we far more readily recognize

blueberries and pecans in a grocery store than in a forest.  Furthermore, we tend to undervalue plants whose uses cannot be commoditized, with the result that we can neither identify nor appreciate the plants that grow even in our own backyard.  Learning not only what plants are present in an area, but also why they are valuable, are critical components of effective environmental stewardship—tenets we can model

after our continent’s first environmental stewards: Native Americans.  Clues to their stewardship lie in the very words they gave to English.  

Here are just a few:

Wicopy (Dirca palustris) is an Algonquian word which translates to “stringbark”,

reflecting its importance as a cordage material

Hackmatack (Larix laricina) is an Abenaki word for “wood used for snowshoes”

Pokeweed (Phytolacca americana) and puccoon (Lithospermum spp.), used by

many tribes as dye plants, both derive from a Powhatan word meaning “herb

that yields pigment.” 

As you hike in the woods this year, I encourage you not only to learn the plants

in your area, but to reflect on their importance to you, your community, and the


Instagram: @manila_folder and @botanybae  
Twitter: @manila_folder


Leafing through History - Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO, 2019

Ethnobotany of Origami - Conference for Creators, Zaragoza, Spain, Feb 2020




Flower pounding with the Artful Parent


Dissecting a Flower

Check out this informative diagram from the National Park Trust.  It explains all the parts of a flower and provides instructions on how to dissect a flower and associated activities.

Click the image to the left for the full size PDF you can download.

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