Friday, February 24, 2012

Spring wildflowers

Hepatica nobilis (from Wikipedia)
I like to tell the story of accompanying my lab group on a traditional foray to look for Hepatica nobilis (a European species) during a year spent in Germany post-graduate school.  It had snowed, and we went out anyway, searching for the flowers that they knew were there.  Remarkable.

Here in the Southeastern U.S., Hepatica americana is one of our earliest flowering spring wildflowers, and its appearance is always welcome.  This year was quite early. 

We saw the first flowers at the Garden in early February (here's a link to my colleague's post about it - I'd made note of it previously in this post.  That wasn't so surprising given our warm winter, but oddly, a small patch of Shortia galacifolia (Oconee Bell) also was in flower, a good month ahead of normal.

But now in late February, native "spring" wildflowers are evident and spring is definitely on the way;  I've seen the first flower buds of Trillium cuneatum (Little Sweet Betsy), Chrysogonum virginicum (Green and Gold), leaves of trout lilies (no flowers yet in the Garden), as well as flowers of Gelsemium sempervirens (also seen in early February) and Lonicera sempervirens (Coral honeysuckle).

Frogs are jumping into our small retention ponds at the Garden (where I work) when I pass by and I imagine last evening (which was WARM), there might have been spring peepers calling. 

It was interesting to see what popped up as a search from (my) posts about Hepatica: it documents how variable emergence and flowering of native wildflowers can be!  My posts were from late February to mid March, with a side note of early April (April 1) commenting on last year's odd spring overlaps.

1 comment:

  1. What a sweet flower. I am not sure I have seen it around here.
    Our frogs have been singing full chorus for a long time.

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