Wildflower of the week

White screwstemby Eleanor Dietrich, Florida Panhandle Wildflower Alliance

White screwstem is a very small wildflower (Bartonia verna) of late winter and early spring. It likes to grow in open damp areas where the nearby vegetation doesn’t cover it up. It has four bright white petals and is in the gentian family.

You have to look closely to find it; it can bloom as a single flower or in groups which are easier to spot. It gets its common name from its threadlike flower stem that is twisted in form.

There are two other flowers in this same genus that grow in our area, but they don’t bloom until late summer and fall.