50 Natives: New Jersey : Inspired by Susan Cohan | PITH + VIGOR by Rochelle Greayer

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50 Natives: New Jersey : Inspired by Susan Cohan

7/15/2009

Blogging and moving around the internet in the last year has been a continuous adventure where I have had the good fortune to meet so many people I would otherwise have not.  Susan Cohan being among them, I was first introduced to her when her blog was mentioned to me, and then later had the opportunity to record a podcast for Chris Heiler’s Landscape Leadership about blogging with her.   She is one of those people, that as I  get to know her though comments, twitter, and reading her blog, I find as I continue to scratch the surface I find an ever more interesting layer beneath.

Susan is a former fashion designer turned Garden Designer, (I interestingly learned this morning she attended the same English school that I did). So in choosing a native plant in honor of this fellow designer and design blogger,  I felt it important to choose a flower that embodied a sense of fashion, and style.   The New Jersey native Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum), has beautiful mottled leaves that make it instantly recognizable.  The gently nodding flower hides some of its most beautiful features, as it faces the ground until is is fully open, and the yellow petals curl back on themselves and reveal their brilliance.

by bobtravis erythronium americanum trout lily dog tooth lily

image by bobtravis

Trout Lily plants naturally spread by forming vast colonies. I am fascinated by the fact that some wild colonies are reputed to be as old as the trees around them — two or three hundred years!  A beautiful example of enduring quality.

dog tooth lily trout lilly

1. Yellow Trout Lily, 2. Trout Lily, 3. Trout Lily

Susan is leader in our industry and getting to know her I have repeatedly found her to be at the forefront of design topics, issues and trends.  Similarly, the Dog Toothed Violet (a misleading common name as this is not a violet at all) is a harbinger of spring and is often one of the first flowers that will be seen by woodland visitors.

dog tooth lily erythronium americanum

1. Liliaceae : Erythronium americanum – Trout Lily (Dogtooth Violet), 2. Trout Lilly (Erythronium americanum) – 18, 3. Erythronium americanum

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