Silky Camellia, Queen of Shade
By mid-May, the leafy canopy of forest trees means dense shade for the plants on the forest floor. For most wildflowers, this begins a season of downtime. Plants that bloomed in March and April sunlight unobstructed by leaves are now finishing up their seed-making and preparing for a long, hot summer. But this season of deep shade is prime time for the silky camellia (Stewartia malacodendron), as its pure white flowers light up the darkened woodland.