|Don't get too excited. This is not the spring beauty you've been looking for.|
I'll admit it -- I was kind of excited when I saw what looked like a new white wildflower pop up a couple places on the property this spring - one clump in a garden bed beneath a crape myrtle, the other in a weedy patch of lawn next to the back sidewalk.
I tried doing some Internet research and tentatively decided it might be spring beauty (Claytonia virginica), a native wildflower in Tennessee and throughout much of eastern North America.
But something was bugging me about this plant ID. I took a closer look at my photos and compared them to those online.
The plants in my photos had six petals and prominent six-pointed structures resembling little crowns at the center of the flower. (Sorry that's not more precise. I'm not much of a botanist and always get anthers and stamens mixed up in my head.)
The pictures of spring beauty that I found online all show a five-petaled flower, often with pink anthers held far above the surface of the flower.
So unfortunately it looks like I have star of Bethlehem (Orthinogalum umbellatum). And although it's charming, it also has a (contested) reputation for behaving invasively. It may also be quite toxic.
So...looks like a shovel-pruning is in the forecast.