anemoneacutiloba

Winter is here, and a good friend told me something peculiar:  “Nature is on hiatus this time of year, isn’t that right?”

Well, I never like to tell people they’re wrong (their faces get all twisted and they start fidgeting in unusual ways), so instead of saying “You are so wrong,” I instead said:  “That doesn’t seem to be the case, at least not from my observations.”

Smooth and tactful.

What leads me to this conclusion — that nature does not take a hiatus, even in cold ol’ Western PA —is that plenty of greenery can be seen.  Green leaves remain not only in the canopy of many coniferous forests, but in the understory as well.

Yes, even in January.

I recently spent a day exploring McConnells Mill State Park in Western Pennsylvania in search of two plants whose green hues remind us that chlorophyll is not just a trendy summer outfit.

Which plants, you may be asking?  Sharp-lobed hepatica (Anemone acutiloba) and shining clubmoss, or shining firmoss (Huperzia lucidula).

Both of these plants are valuable members of their respective communities, and both retain rather interesting histories that I think you may find fascinating.  What’s more, these two species may be useful (in some ways significantly useful) in treating human illnesses.

Interested in learning more?  Check out the new video!