JACK-IN-THE-PULPIT One of Jakupcak’s favorites. Long green stalk with resemblance to a preacher, Jack, in his over- hanging pulpit. Sensitive plant, hard to grow in garden, doesn’t like to be fertilized. Blooms for two weeks. “It covers the parks, and I love that,” Jakupcak said. VIRGINIA BLUEBELLS End of April in Illinois Canyon. “The canyon is carpeted in bluebell, so you’re going to see the bluebell, the trillium, a little white plant called the rue anemone. It’s just gorgeous. You can smell the bluebells. There’s that many of them,” Jakupcak said. “Almost all of these plants when they’re done blooming, they disappear. Flowers, the stems, the leaves, they’re gone – that’s what happens to bluebells. By June the entire plant is gone.” Blooms about 10 days. HEPATICA One of Sons’ favorites. Three little leaves, one of the first to come up in the spring. Latin for liver, Sons said, because at one time people thought plants that looked like an organ could heal ailments of the organ. Seen along trail into Ottawa Canyon. Late March into April. BLOODROOT Biggest bloomer, almost 2 inches across, white plant with yellow center, similar to a daisy, only lasts about 24 hours. “All the petals fall off. The leaves will be with us all summer, but the bloodroot blooms quickly. It’s a nice one to see,” Jakupcak said. Largest patches seen along creeks and bottom of sandstone bluffs at mouth of Kaskaskia Canyon. Late March into April. HARBINGER OF SPRING Also one of Sons’ favorites. Unlike the rest of this list, this flower is easy to miss and hard to find. Minuscule at 2 to 3 inches tall. Also called salt and pepper “because it literally looks like somebody just shook salt and pepper and topped it onto a green plant,” Sons said. Late March into spring between Ottawa and Kaskaskia canyons. DUTCHMAN’S BREECHES White flower, looks like trousers hanging on a clothesline, about a half inch long, blooms about a week. Late March into April. SHOOTING STAR Jakupcak’s favorite. 12-inch stem, looks like a little comet pointed at ground. One of last to come up in May. Seen on top of French Canyon bluff and along bluff trail to St. Louis Canyon. April into May. SWAMP BUTTERCUP Yellow flower, looks like shiny yellow plastic. Seen in wet areas along the river, blooms for two weeks. PRAIRIE TRILLIUM Three-petal flower. Early settlers called it the bloody nose because that’s what it resembles. Blooms about two weeks. April into May. RED COLUMBINE Last spring flower. Looks like a red lantern. The blue columbine is the state flower for Colorado because it blooms above 5,000 feet; below 5,000 feet, most columbine are red. Mounds of them along the river trail. April into May. SPRING BEAUTIES Leaves look like grass. Longest lasting spring wildflower, it could be up for a month and in some cases looks like snow on the ground. Late March into April.