Even though most of the trees are still bare and must of us awoke to snow on the ground this weekend, spring has arrived and with it are some of the most beautiful blooms of the year.
Spring Flowering Bulbs
The crocuses have all but faded, but the daffodils continue to bloom, brightening up the drab landscape with their cheery yellows and oranges. They have recently been joined by the hyacinths. With their overpowering fragrance, these flowers add to springs color palette with their cool colors of pink and purple.
You may have noticed some small purple flowers known as grape hyacinths. Not a true hyacinth, the inflorescence of this flower is a cone of small purple flowers that almost looks like a miniature clump of grapes.
If you want to bring some spring cheer inside (highly recommended), it is best to give daffodils their own vase as their stems secrete a substance that is harmful to other flowers.
One of the great joys of spring is the appearance of spring ephemerals. These native plants grow in wooded areas and only have a short time to flower before the trees above them leaf out and block their sunlight. When you are walking through wooded areas in the spring, make sure you watch your feet or might step on the delicate flowers of the bloodroot or the hepatica.
Other Spring Blooms
Weeds – It’s all in the eye of the beholder.
Many spring flowering plants are considered weeds. You may think that dandelion in your lawn is unsightly, but the bees beg to differ. Dandelions are an important source of pollen and nectar for bees in the early spring as are other spring flowering ‘weeds’ like purple deadnettle and henbit.
What about Fungus?
Now fungi aren’t plants, so they don’t have flowers, but they can add color to the landscape. In the spring cedar-apple rust galls that overwintered on juniper become more noticeable as they produce gelatinous tendrils that release spores into the air. Some of these spores will find their way to apple trees where they can cause problems by infecting the leaves and the fruit of the tree.