Saturday, April 15, 2023


 Hey, summer heat!  Not so fast!  I could hardly believe what my outdoor thermometer read yesterday (April 14). Just a tad over 100 degrees, at 4 PM.  Such heat will surely push our just-emerging wildflowers into blooming really fast.  Too fast, I'm afraid.  How will I keep up with them all?

Overnight, the Twinleaf plant (Jeffersonia diphylla) in my backyard garden went from first leaves pushing up from the dirt to fully in bloom:

I had planted this native wildflower in my garden because it doesn't usually occur naturally this far east in New York State, and I just wanted to see its lovely flowers.  And even when Twinleaf  grows where it has been planted, its bloom is so brief its petals will drop in a day. I figured if all I had to do was step out my back door, I might have a chance to see it in bloom.  And that I did, today. I caught it in full open bloom at 7 o'clock this morning. 

But it was another hot day today.  Over 80 by early afternoon.

I doubt I will see these lovely flowers tomorrow.  When I got home about 3 this afternoon, I ran out to my garden to feast my eyes on this pristine blossom.  But I inadvertently touched the bloom, and three of the petals fell off.  Ah well, at least I did briefly see it in its glory. Rain is due to fall tonight, so that will be the end of bloom time for this Twinleaf plant.

But the rain will probably spur even more blooms of another wildflower that burst into flower in my yard today:  the beautiful Confederate Violet (Viola sororia f. priceana).

I did not plant these violets, a naturally occurring form of our native Common Blue Violet.  Nor did I intentionally plant the regular purple Common Blue Violets that used to compete with the turf grass in my tiny lawn for space (a contest I was happy to see the violets making headway in). The purple-flowered violets just yielded to the whiter form over the years, and now that's all that grow there.  And who could complain?  The flowers are really pretty.  

And when the flowers fade, the leaves stay green and low until snow falls on them.  And they quickly revive in spring.  Especially if the temperature hovers around 100!

This unseasonable heat has stirred the woodland wildflowers into blooming as well.  I'm sure glad I got down to the Ballston Creek Preserve on Thursday to catch the Bloodroot in bloom. This native wildflower (Sanguinaria canadensis) is not only an early bloomer, but also a very brief bloomer, so as soon as I learn that other wildflower enthusiasts are seeing it, I hurry to where I think I might find it.  And so I did!  Lucky me!

And while down at the Ballston Creek Preserve, I ventured back into the woods, expecting to find a few Carolina Spring Beauty flowers (Claytonia caroliniana) poking up through the leaf litter.  And did I?  Oh wow, you betcha!!! And way more than just a few.  Hundreds and hundreds of them! Each blossom as lovely as or lovelier than the last.

The wildflower floodgates are open now, for sure! I just hope some cooler weather will slow the flood just a bit.


The Furry Gnome said...

The Bloodroot is in full bloom here!

wash wild said...

Trillium in bloom on the trail in back of Artisanal Brew Works Sunday afternoon (4/16). Seems early.