The previous post dealt with mostly traditional, old-fashioned flowers. This one will cover the native ephemera and Iris cristata, which is native to the US, but not to Michigan, although it thrives here. Oh, yes—and a tiny volunteer rose—I have no idea where it came from.
The native plants that come up in early spring come up with flower buds in place. They also tend to be quite red—I have always suspected that this is to prevent starving rabbits from mowing them all down. They seem to mow down every green thing they see, and I don’t even know if they can see color.
Rue anemones seed in, but not obnoxiously.
The flowers start out pink, surrounded by red leaves. As the rue anemone matures, the red pigment fades; the flowers age to white, and the leaves turn green.
When the leaves unfurl, they look a great deal like those of meadow rue or eastern columbines, but these plants cannot be mistaken for each other. Meadow rue is quite tall—roughly four feet—and blooms in May. Columbines come up a little later than rue anemone, but not with flower buds leading the way.
The flower buds on Dutchman’s breeches look like little beads to me. They morph from beads to breeches in a matter of days.
As I write this exactly a month later, there are only a few yellowed leaves left to the Dutchman’s breeches. They will reappear next April.
A volunteer rose
Last summer I spotted a rose seedling where the dwarf Japanese Solomon’s seal meets and mingles with the rue anemones and the Dutchman’s breeches. The rabbits mowed it down sometime in the early winter. I figured we had seen the last of it, but I was wrong.
No wonder the rabbits haven’t found it. What a tangle!
Trout lilies are not one of my great successes. On the other hand, maybe that depends on how you define successful. If successful means it reproduces, then they are successful. There are at least seven that started with one.
On the other hand, in a flower garden, successful may mean it blooms, which trout lilies have never done in this yard.
I am very fond of trillium. They have formed a nice little colony around the spot where the pawpaw stood. They are successful by any standard.
As trillium age, the petals seem to get a little longer and they turn pink. The darker the pink, the older the flower.
One of the surprises this spring was a eastern columbine blooming several yards from its predecessors. Columbines seem to migrate around this yard, but the eastern columbines stay in the pawpaw bed, moving around but never getting numerous.
There are shooting stars intermixed with the Pennsylvania sedge, which is very nice. Shooting star flowers are nifty, but their foliage is scruffy and weedy looking. The Pennsylvania sedge has beautiful foliage and hides the scruffy parts of the shooting stars beautifully.
The plant that bridges the gap between the spring ephemera and late spring flowers is Iris cristata. While it is not native to this area, it is native to areas fairly nearby.
The pawpaw bed has two swaths of Iris cristata, which bloom enthusiastically in the partial sun. Here is part of the patch that gets dappled morning sun.
Things are changing rapidly. All of the early and mid-spring flowers are fading, to be replaced by much bigger plants. More on that in a week or two.