|pansies, December 16|
Plants are flowering.
The pansies (Viola tricolor)--first photo--are hanging on. But I also found periwinkle (Vinca minor) in bloom
|periwinkle, Vinca, Dec. 16|
|henbit, Dec. 16|
|Rick, Dec. 16|
It is worth thinking about the consequences of warm Decembers. You can describe these plants as fooled by the temperatures or as risk-takers.
I saw dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) seed pods that must have developed since last week's snowstorm. (I think the 2" of snow would have crushed them). This is successful risk-taking. Warm weather in winter is a temptation to plants. If they put up leaves or flowers they might make a net energy capture--more carbohydrate gained than were consumed to build the leaf--or produce a few more seeds. Conversely, a frost could destroy half-built leaves or unripe seeds, wasting all the investment. The dandelion below gambled that warm weather would hold long enough for its seeds to mature--and it did. Part of dandelions' success all over the world is being able to make asexual seeds (no partner needed, see earlier post) and rapidly ripen them.
|dandelion with seeds, Dec. 16|
When I went flower-hunting on November 24, 2017 in addition to pansies, periwinkle and henbit, I found dandelions open, an iceplant (Delosperma, likely D. cooperi) flowering, crane's bill (Eriodium cicutarium) (see earlier blog) in bloom, the snapdragons (Antirrhinum sp.) along my neighbor's driveway hanging on, calendulas (Calenula officinale) (see blog) and catmint (Nepeta x fassennii) flowering. Impressive diversity for a period I consider winter.
|dandelion, Nov. 24|
|Iceplant, Delosperma, Nov. 24|
|crane's bill, Erodium Nov. 24|
|snapdragon Nov. 24|
|calendula, Nov. 24|
|Catmint, late summer; it looked a whole lot shaggier than this on Nov. 24.|
I picked a bouquet and forgot a picture.
It has not regrown much since the snowstorm.
Or, like me, go flower-hunting with your camera on days when its a delight to find a flower.
Make a changing world a source of surprise and discovery.
|pansies, Nov. 24|
Note: With this post, I can now say "flowers bloom every month of the year in Loveland Colorado."
Of course, that's not every month in every year. And there's a big gap from Dec. 17 to Jan. 28 during which I haven't seen a flower, but this project is only five years old.
What about where you are?
CaraDonna, P. J., A. M. Iler and D. W. Inouye. 2014. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, U.S. A. 111 (13): 4916-4921.link
Hanawalt, B. The Ties That Bound, Oxford University Press.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AWanderingBotanist
You might like this related posts:
Late Season Flowers link
January flowers link
Snowdrops, a February flower link