In addition to bloodroot and white trilliums, some of the first spring ephemerals to emerge here in southern Michigan are Virginia spring beauties (Claytonia virginica, Portulacaceae). By the end of April these short-lived flowering plants blanket many wooded areas with small pink flowers:
In this area I find these flowers almost exclusively in low, wet, wooded areas, especially in floodplain forests.
The pinkish-white, five-petaled flowers alone aren’t useful for a positive identification of this species. I know of several other local flowers that bear a striking resemblance, including Carolina spring beauty (Claytonia caroliniana, Portulacaceae), rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides, Ranunculaceae), and false rue anemone (Enemion biternatum, Ranunculaceae). What sets this species apart from the others, however, are the long, thin leaves. If you find these flowers and grass-like leaves in eastern North America, you’re probably looking at a Virginia spring beauty.