Sunday, April 21, 2013

Wildflower season 2013 begins

I hadn't had much of a chance to get out in the woods to look for Kalamazoo wildflowers due to a combination of work commitments, travel, and what seemed to be nearly constant rain (as well as Saturday's snow).  Last year, the wildflowers bloomed a full month earlier, so I was afraid I'd missed the start of the season.  But, a quick visit to the Kalamazoo Nature Center this afternoon, showed the 2013 season was just starting.  The early ephemerals were in flower; the Hepatica may be near their peak and the Spring Beauty seemed to be just starting.  Bloodroot was in flower.  I even saw a few Harbinger of Spring with late blossoms, although most of them had gone to seed.

I had glimpsed Marsh Marigolds in bloom along I-94 yesterday, and they were also flowering at the nature center.  Like the Spring Beauty, they seem to be at the beginning of their bloom.
Toothwort, Trout Lily, and Rue Anemone had buds but few blooms.  Mayapples were emerging, but their umbrellas were still tightly furled.  Most of the Dutchman's Breeches only had a few immature green flowers, but a handful of plants in sunny areas were in flower.

So far, this year seems similar to the 2011 wildflower bloom.  If that pattern holds, a period of warm weather could cause a condensed season where everything blossoms within a few weeks.  In any case, the next week or so should be a great time to visit some of the local wildflower hotspots or travel a bit to other wildflower spots in West Michigan.


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