Flower Time: Spring Ephemerals

In a burst of giddy optimism a couple of weeks ago, I shoved the heavier fleece-lined pants in the dresser drawer. This apparently attracted the attention of Mother Nature, who responded with the weather equivalent of “Oh, yeah?” This was capped off last night with a Freeze Warning, frosty rooftops and greenery, and a frozen birdbath.

Through all this, the flowers have hung in there. The daffodils perked up after the sun warmed them, the crabapple buds appear to have survived, and a couple of native spring ephemerals bloomed.

My little spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) started out several years ago as a single tiny plant on the edge of my driveway. Since then, it has multiplied–there are three more plants, each with multiple buds. I look out for them every spring.

Spring beauties

White trout lilies (Erythronium albidum) turned up in my shady sideyard years ago. Most of the plants are nothing more than a single mottled leaf–if lilies grow from seed, it can take 5-7 years for them to mature and bloom.

White trout lily

These flowers are called ephemerals because they don’t stay around very long. But they announce Spring, and I am so, so ready for the warmth and greenery.