Early Saxifrage (Micranthes virginiensis)
I found a colony of 14 early saxifrage plants growing along the rocky slopes of Stony Creek in Bethesda, MD.
The branched cluster of 5-petaled white flowers were both fragrant and at peak bloom.
The plant has a hairy stalk, growing from 4 to 10-inches tall, which rises from a rosette of basal leaves.
This relatively uncommon native wildflower occurs throughout the northeast usually in dry woods and rocky areas, flowering early, from March through April.
Other wildflowers nearby included spring beauty, rue anemone and cutleaf toothwort. Unfortunately the dominant ground cover emerging through this section of open forest was garlic mustard and lesser celandine on the low flats along the creek.