Early spring wildflowers, the spring ephemerals, are vivid reminders of the fragile beauty and existence of life on earth. They tease and please with spectacular, short-lived blooms. They always leave us wanting more, and we’re quite willing to wait another year for another show. It never gets old.
Serviceberry (Amelanchier), a small flowering tree
Marsh Marigold in the wet soil along a small stream
White Trillium, a woodland wildflower favoring rich, moist soils (1 of 2)
Red Trillium in filtered light on a rich woodland site
Cold weather has delayed the arrival of traditional, early spring wildflowers. This has led me to look up rather than down, searching for the lesser known flowers of trees and shrubs. They can be stunning, but often require magnification to be appreciated.
One of the many species of shrubby willows (Salix); a critical food source for bees in early spring
It’s early Spring and everything is alive and fresh in the morning sun. Let’s take a hike. The destination is a small, local park and the goals are bubbling brooks, tumbling waters, a small wildflower called Hepatica (that I often miss because it blooms so early)…. and anything else of interest!
Hepatica (Hepatica acutiloba; the common white variety)
Hepatica (H. acutiloba; the uncommon blue variety)
Trillium, Red (also Wake-robin, Birthroot or Purple; Trillium erectum)
Marsh Marigold (Cowslip), a common spring wildflower, is in full bloom now. Scattered clumps of brilliant, golden-yellow flowers protrude above large, kidney-shaped leaves to define wet, marshy sites. The colorful bloom is visible at a distance and brightens wild landscapes where the drab grays and browns of winter persist.
Captured on different sites under a variety of light conditions, these images are an attempt to convey the range of color and beauty of this showy wetland wildflower.
Woodland wildflowers. In dappled sunlight on moist, fertile soils. As solitary plants or in clumps, patches and carpets; in every size, color and growth form imaginable; and with blooms that fade as quickly as they appear. The story of the spring ephemerals is told over and over again, the scenes observed each and every year in April and May. But, Mother Nature is the supreme story teller, and it never gets old.
In memory, and honor, of mothers around the globe.
Spring in the North, you gotta love it! Galleries of world class images can’t fully capture the moments; there are too many intangibles whirling around, evading descriptive words and fancy gear. The last 72 hours have left me with a flood of memories, some made a bit more lasting with visual reminders. Mom would have loved this post!
Many of the early spring wildflowers can be found on short walks in woodland habitats where soils are reasonably moist, fertile and undisturbed.
In this immediate area, the Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis) bloom has peaked, Trout Lily (Erythronium americanum) is approaching full bloom, and the flower buds of Red Trillium (Trillium erectum) are just starting to open. The vivid colors of these species are a welcome contrast to our extended period of overcast skies and cool, rainy weather!
The White Trillium (Trillium grandiflorum, also called Large-flowered Trillium) has started to bloom — finally! This is a fairly common, carpet-forming, spring ephemeral that thrives in rich, moist woodlands. The large, showy flowers, 2 to 4 inches across, often turn pinkish as they age.