The Dutchman’s Fab Doppleganger

I spy an early wildflower that reminds me of Dutchman’s britches.  But your flowers are not reflecting the pants of a sailor, they look rather to be a member of the Fabiacea (Peas&Beans) Family – or to you old-schoolers, Leguminosae.  Who are you, growing on the Eastern-facing side of the hill I walk to work?  A NEW wildflower to me is like hearing your favorite song for the first time.  Newy but Goody.  Something to be forever cherished.  I pick a sprig from this seemingly invasive herb and bring it home to a small vase in the window.  While it has waited for identification the past three days, its vigor remains and therefore would make a surprisingly nice cut-flower.  Except for its short stature – hence the tiny vase.

Oh Mr. Newcomb – let me have a looksee into your depth of wildflower knowledge.  But alas I do not have one with me.  So as an unsaid Herbaloo tradition, we will start off wildflower season with a mystery.

The flowers are magenta-pink and also resemble those of a snapdragon: a mirror image on either side but not in all directions, nor does it have “petals”.  The leaves are finely divided into three little paw prints.  Very delicate and moist.  They seem to be basal.

Have you ever seen this plant?  I would be interested in it’s common names, latin name, and edible/posionous/medicinal status.  Do you have a Newcomb’s you can look this up in? That seems funny to me to request such a thing – especially with my half-memory of the exact terminology used to describe the botanical details…

I offer a prize to whomever can identify the Wildflower Doppleganger!

(this contest is now closed – please see the follow-up post for the answer)

ciao for now, I’ve got Spring Fever!



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