Sunday, April 7, 2019

The Early Bloomers Have Sprung

 Bloodroot, Twinleaf, Spring Beauty, Pasque Flower, and Trillium catesbaei all flowering.

 Bloodroot, Sanguinaria canadensis. Flowers just starting to open

The leaf always clasps the stem and flower early on to help protect it from strong winds.

They slowly spread by rhizomes sending up a larger clump of stems and flowers each year. Last year there were only 6 flowers, this year there are 10 with a few more yet to open. You can also tell which ones have been open for a day or two and which ones are just getting started by how far up the flower bud is from the leaf. 

 Close up of the inside.

It's hard to believe that I started these from seed. Friends of mine in Missouri say from seed it only takes 3 years from germination to flowering, and as far as ephemerals go they're reasonably fast spreading. Here though in NJ, more specifically the 12" by 12" spot in the front garden where I planted the seeds, they've taken about 5 years from germination to flowering. Actually it was really cute the first year they germinated because the first year leaves are like Bloodroot but for a doll house, like barely an inch tall. I wish I'd taken a picture of them. Then on the following year the produced normal leaves. They've flowers the last two or three years and I can't locate any new seedlings yet but hopefully that will change.

Twinleaf, Jeffersonia diphylla. I watched this thing like a hawk waiting for the flower to open. Sadly they only flower for a maximum of 4 days and if it's not above a certain temp out (I think 68F) they don't open at all. 

Better luck next year with this one. On the up side I accidentally took a picture of an ant. Looks like Tapinoma sessile.

Thankfully when I planted these I bought a flat of them and have numerous other plants scattered about the yard. It amazes me that just being planted a few feet away and they still come up and flower a week apart. Some of them are getting almost the identical amount of sun and water and still aren't going to have flowers open at the same time. Growing these things from seed must be a pain in the ass.

One did manage to open, so far, and still has it's petals but of all our native emphemerals this is the most finicky when it comes to flowering. The petals can fall off the flower after just 4 hours of being open.

Spring Beauty, Claytonia virginica. I planted about 6 corms several years ago and they've spread all over my little woodland garden. I've even had to transplant them into other situations where they've started to do the same. Online I read they're a common lawn weed but my population hasn't quite gotten that far yet. I'm looking forward to it though.

 The European Pasque Flowers I bought a few weeks ago are growing nicely in the front garden I installed last year. I believe they do flower around this time but won't know for sure until next year.

I grow many Trillium species in the garden. This is the first year one of this species has flowered. Blushing Wakerobin, Trillium catesbaei pusillum. Eventually the flower hangs down below the three main leaves to aim down at the ground.



It's a tiny little plant right now at about 3 inches tall. It's funny reading online they can get up to 8. 




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