Monday, May 2, 2011

A Bounty of Beautiful Buds

Yes, the wildflowers are pretty. But this time of year, many trees and shrubs bear buds that could surely compete with flowers for interest or beauty. Here's just a sampling.

American Beech is now dropping its coppery bud scales to
reveal its crisply pleated leaves covered with baby-chick down.

American Bladdernut bears clusters of flower buds as fascinating
as the hollow bladders the bushes put forth in late summer.

Hobblebush leaves have been waiting all winter
to unveil the flower clusters hiding within.

Maple-leaved Viburnum leaves have a lock
on the prize for elegant, perfect symmetry.

Northern Prickly Ash grows the boy-buds and girl-buds on
separate shrubs. Above are the pistillate flowers (the girls) . . .

. . . and these are the staminate ones (the boys).

Norway Maple. Or so I believe, from what the leaf looked like when I
uncrumpled one. Are the bud covers on baby trees always this scarlet?

Shagbark Hickory. There's no mistaking this
giant bud wrapped in celadon and apricot silk.


Anonymous said...

How amazing - I think, in general, we forget to look that closely - and spring is gone by and summer full blown. This is an exquisite time of year. Thanks!

Jacqueline Donnelly said...

Thanks for your comment, hike/giant. I'm trying to learn the plants in every season, from early bud to winter twigs, and it's such a delight to see them unfold in spring.