“There should be from first to last a steady growth in the intelligence of the child as to the places where certain plants grow. He finds hepaticas and trilliums in the woods, daisies and buttercups in the sunny fields, mullein on the dry hillsides, cattails in the swamp, and water lilies floating on the pond. This may all be taught by simply asking the pupils questions relating to the soil and the special conditions of the locality where they found the flowers they bring to school. ” Handbook of Nature Study, page 458
Oh, the joy of wandering the woods in search of spring wildflowers. When I lived in California, March was the real start of our spring wildflower season. Here in Central Oregon it starts much later, so I’m dreaming of wildflower season! My daughter who still lives in California will be sending me photos for sure!
Use this week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge to learn more about hepatica using the Handbook of Nature Study as well as the links and videos in the original challenge linked below.
Alternate Study Idea: Look for the Spring Beauty if you live in the western United States.
Advanced Study Video:Hepatica. Please note I do not endorse any medicinal uses noted in this video.
Outdoor Hour Time:
Take an early spring nature walk looking for the first signs of spring and wildflowers. Hepatica will be found early in the season.
Make note of the habitat where you find the hepatica blooming.
This is a flower to study in the field, noting the leaves, buds, and blossoms.
Advanced study: Sketch the flower parts in your nature journal from direct observation.
Advanced study: Mark your hepatica plant in the woods so you can return and make summer and autumn observations. I suggest tying a string around the stem and noting in your nature journal where the plant is with a simple diagram or map.
Create a nature journal entry for the hepatica. Use as much detail as you can showing the flower’s shape, color, and size. Note the habitat and the conditions in which the flower blooms. Note the date of the first flowers. Sketch the leaf.
Advanced study: Compare the hepatica and the spring beauty (or other early spring wildflower) if you have both flowers in your area. You can find images of many early spring wildflowers on this page: Spring Wildflowers.
Join us for this series of challenges every week here on the Handbook of Nature Study.