Very early to flower are snowdrops, also called Candlemas bells. Candlemas is February 2, so they were that early in England. In my yard, however, they haven't flowered before February 15 in ten years of observation. (Genus Galanthus, amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae). (My blog on snowdrops)
|redstem stork's bill|
Dandelions! (Taraxacum officiale, sunflower family Asteraceae). Brought to North America as food and medicine, they're one of our best-known flowers, despite being cursed as weeds. They will take advantage of just a brief period of warm weather to flower. Enjoy their bright flowers! (blog post)
And crocuses! (From Eurasia, genus Crocus, iris family Iridaceae). Among the the earliest garden flowers and widely planted.
|Spring snows don't stop crocuses.|
|Pasque flowers in the Rocky Mountain foothills|
|hellebore, Lenten rose. One of its many colors.|
|blue mustard, Chorispora tenella|
|star-lily or sand-lily, Leucocrinum montanum|
|primroses, Primula vulgaris|
Daffodils and narcissus and jonquils are all in the genus Narcissus (amaryllis family, Amaryllidaceae) and have been grown as spring flowers for centuries (blog)
And watch for the flowering shrubs. Saskatoon (service berry, Amelanchier, rose family, Rosaceae) is one of the earliest native North American shrubs to flower (blog post)
These are, intentionally, a mix of wild natives, weeds, and cultivated plants. Some are western so depending on where you live you won't see them. I apologise for not including spring favorites from the New York forests of my childhood (spring beauty, hepatica) but I don't have photos. Some places all of these will have already flowered, elsewhere even the crocuses aren't up. But it is spring in the Northern Hemisphere. Enjoy!
Comments and corrections welcome.
Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
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