One of the pleasures of living in Plymouth is searching out the wide variety of wildflowers which can be found through the seasons, from the early anemones and mayflowers to the wood asters and witch hazel in late fall. There are the flowers of the forest and flowers of the seashore, blossoms of the fields and blooming weeds in vacant lots.
In 1904, Mrs. Catherine Hedge published an index to the wildflowers of Plymouth, Massachusetts. She spent many hours searching out plants in their various habitats, sometimes employing the assistance of local children. Rose Briggs remembered being a member of these summer expeditions as a girl, being driven in a wagon with Mrs. Hedge along woodlot roads in quest of elusive blossoms. They would stop from time to time and the children would be told to get down and go into whatever swamp or thicket was at hand to look for a particular plant. They would then make their way as best they could, stepping over cat briars and pushing through the scrub brush and trying to avoid muddy places until they found the desired flower, just as it had been described. They then struggled back, scratched and sweating and swatting away slow-buzzing flies to deliver the prize. Mrs. Hedge, sitting comfortably beneath her parasol, would graciously receive the specimen and tell her driver to proceed to the next venue.
We are pleased to make this useful list available for those who would like to know Plymouth's flowering treasures better. The entries (and the two "flower clocks") are arranged as they were published, by plant families, and can be accessed either consecutively or by the family names. We hope to add an index of English names and some illustrations of the more common examples at a later date.