The Blue-Bead Lily (Clintonia spp.) is a rather unassuming flower that is easily overlooked in the spring. The greenish-yellow blooms form in clusters held above the ground on slender 4 to 15 inch stalks. They are considered a boreal or woodland wildflower and grow under hardwood. It often co-exists with hobblebush, striped maple and red trillium.
Foliage consists of several large basal leaves that resemble the leaves of lady's slippers. These flowers are often found growing in areas where trillium and jack in the pulpit grow, typically in sunny areas near the edges of wooded areas. They can also be found along roadsides in early spring. At first glance the Blue-Bead Lily may be mistaken for the trout lily, but blooms are smaller and lack speckling.
In the late summer and fall the Blue-Bead Lily produces clusters of bright blue berries that brighten the landscape. These showy berries make up for any lack the spring flowers exhibit.