Spring wiildflowers make appearance in late winter

Published on Wednesday, 12 February 2014 23:08 - Written by Dee Bishop In Our Garden

Late winter is when we begin to see the small but beautiful spring wildflowers.

Small flowers are precursors to spring

The little woodland flowers called Spring Ephemerals — because they are so fleeting — begin to show up on the forest floors by the end of February. Take a look at this little Trullium grandiflorum. Showing up in early spring, it gives us hope that bigger and better are just around the corner.

I took this picture in Virginia one spring because I was smitten with the simple elegance and gentle beauty of this little flower. Trilliums are often shown in English story books but until I lived in Alabama, I had never seen one.

We have a native trillium here, too. It is not as showy and is very fleeting because of our heat. Our trillium, called by locals “wake-robin,” is the Trillium sessile.

Spotted leaves and a deep maroon bloom are its traits. I love the spotted leaves and would not care if it never bloomed. I have had a small patch in my yard for years and I always begin looking for it to pop up in February. Once the weather gets hot, the trilliums and other little early spring flowers go dormant. You must be careful to mark their spot or you will inadvertently dig them up when they are dormant.

Watch for small, but beautiful flowers as spring advances. You will see them beside the roadside, along woodland pathways, and even in your lawn. Get down for a really close look and notice all the little markings that draw pollinators into their blooms. Pick a nosegay of little violets soon and enjoy their fragrance and beauty. Spring is a gentle time and time for the little things that bloom.