Thursday, May 7, 2009

Race for light

The trees are starting to leaf-out which means the early wildflower season in Kalamazoo is coming to an end. Many of the plants that were in bloom two weeks ago have finished for the year and their leaves are already fading. The trillium, phlox, anemone, and blue-eyed Mary are in full flower now, but soon the floor of the woods will be in daylong shade.

In the few weeks after winter's last killing frost and before the tree leaves form a solid canopy, ephemeral wildflowers need to sprout, bloom, get pollinated, and set seed. It's a short season, but beautiful.

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