Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Wildflowers Reaching Their Peak

The earliest ephemerals have started to fade away. Plants that pushed up their blooms first are now dropping their petals to make way for new sets of leaves to produce energy toward generating seeds. Here you see the last of my Twinleaf plants, which thanks to having multiple plants bloomed much longer than typical, though at no time was there more than one plant in flower. Clearly I need to plant them closer together so they flower within the same micro-climates.

Hepatica is also saying goodbye to all of its petals. The green structures seen here in the center will inflate out into a sort of battle mace-looking structure, before falling apart into thin pointed seeds.

Wild Hyacinth is my new favorite bulb, and this year I went nuts planting it everywhere. We're still early in the bloom for this one so no pollinators yet. But I'm sure that will change when the several dozen or so that I planted out in the meadow garden start flowering along with the other patches I have about.

Woodland Phlox is one of our native plants welcomed by the horticultural industry. Many cultivars sold are actually quite fragrant and pleasing to have in mass.

The Western Trout Lily is still going strong and many of the plants now have their flowers pointed outward making them easier to enjoy.

Trilliums have joined the show now and will be flowering for the next couple of weeks. Here the common Trillium grandiflorum is putting on a good show. Also I'm impressed that I was able to take this shot without the need for any editing. I'm not sure I like the effect though.

Trillium luteum has been going strong for a whole week now and the petals are starting to turn yellow. This is one of my favorite species because of its heavenly citrus scent. Despite the fragrance though, I've yet to see anything bother pollinating them.

Trillium viridescens, from the Ozark, has no issues attracting pollinators what so ever. It does this by releasing a fowl odor I'd liken to rotting apples. It's not all that displeasing but it is very pungent.

Paw Paw flower smell similar. Again only one of my trees has flowered, and a frost this year has killed a fair amount of the blossoms before they opened. Some that weren't as far along though survived the cold and are now opening.

Stone Crop is a succulent ground cover that I'm starting to realize the charm of. For year I've tried getting carpets of Bluets to establish in patches of moss and under trees but to no avail. Stone Crop produces a similar effect, spreads more readily, and is far easier to grow! I've yet to see an pollinators taking a liking to them though but we're still early on in their blooming. Normally Sedums get tons of pollinators to them, though mostly ones that bloom in the autumn. Hopefully I'll get a nice big patch of these going in a few years and I'll be able to see what they attract.

You'll be hard pressed to find a flower with such an intense shade of yellow that blooms happily in full shade as Ragwort. Despite the name, it's actually a very pleasing ground cover that gets a fair amount of pollinator action. Mostly its visited by flies but I see many sorts of small bees visiting them off and on, and even a honeybee or two now and then.

This year one of the patches has gotten an infection of aphids which I had never noticed before. I grow two or three species of this plant and they only seem to go after one of them. 

The apple trees are absolutely buzzing with all manner of bee at this time of year. Beeflies, hover flies, carpenter bees (big and small), honeybees, bumblebees, mason bees, and an assortment of digger bees are all over the trees this year.

And lastly (for pictures anyhow) the wild strawberries I planted are starting to flower.

Jacob's Ladder, Woodland Poppy, Spring Beauty, Trillium flexipes, Foam Flower, and Virginia Bluebells are also flowering along with my Easter Redbud.