Sunday, March 13, 2022

It is Spring, Some Places

Spring is late on the Front Range of Colorado this year. It is almost mid-March and my yard is under snow. Again. Normally I would have snowdrops and crocuses by now. So a visit to Corvallis and Eugene Oregon was a shocking, wonderful leap forward into spring. I'm posting spring flower pictures for your enjoyment if you are already in spring, for your encouragement if you are not.

hellebore; Helleborus sp.
a big stand of hellebores (lenten rose, Helleborus)

Colorado looks like this this March: brown and beige and white:

March 2022 Colorado Front Range
 northern Colorado

central Corvallis, Oregon
  downtown Corvallis, Oregon

Oregon is north of Colorado, but there is more to climate than how far north you are. (In particular, Colorado is at about 5000' elevation and western Oregon under 300'; Colorado is in midcontinent and western Oregon is a close to the Pacific Ocean, where the ocean moderates the temperatures.) I can go north to spring!

In Corvallis, the crocuses (Crocus sp.) were pretty well done blooming: 

crocuses in Corvallis, OR

Of course there were daffodils (Narcissus pseudonarcissus). All in full bloom, not just sprouting. And look how green the plants around them are. In fact, the surrounding plants are blooming, with purple flowers. Those are probably ground ivy, Glecoma hederacea, aka creeping charlie, but there are other weedy plants of the mint family.


Rosemary (Salvia rosmarinus, mint family Lamiaceae) was blooming:

rosemary Salvia rosmarinus

And heather (Calluna vulgaris, heath family Ericaceae) formed spectacular pink or purple clumps: 

heather, Calluna vulgaris

In the lawn, a dandelion (Taraxacum officinale, sunflower family Asteraceae)! Dandelions begin their growing season by flowering, so are good early spring flowers. They are also a rich source of nectar for the first bees of the season. Notice how long and green the grass around the flower is; it has been spring for weeks not days.

dandelion, Taraxacum officinale

Spring bulbs were nearly done flowering (I'm not sure which one this is): 

spring bulb
Shrubs were blooming. Probably a small plum (Prunus, rose family, Rosaceae):

spring flowers

and this one, in the heath and blueberry family (Ericaceae) but I'm not sure which species: 

flowering shrub

Even lungworts (Pulminaria, borage family, Boraginaceae) were in bloom, and I think of them as mid-spring flowers, not early spring flowers:

lungwort, Pulminaria
lungwort (Pulminaria)

When I left home a week ago, my first snowdrop was above ground, with a big bud. But there was more snow during the week and it is buried again (just this side of yellow marker):

flowers in Colorado, March 2022
the snowdrops are still under snow

So I repeat; spring is coming! Enjoy it if you've got it; enjoy the pictures and the anticipation if it hasn't reached you yet.

Here: bright purple heather and green green grass!

purple heather, green grass
heather and grass!

Comments and corrections welcome.

Kathy Keeler, A Wandering Botanist
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Blogs about some of these plants
About crocuses link
About daffodils link 
About dandelions link
About lungwort link
About rosemary link
    why rosemary is called Salvia rosmarinus link
About snowdrops link

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