Spring: Ephemeral Plants

Lesser Celendine

One of the best things about the spring are those fleeting visitors, the ephemerals. Most of these spring blossoms are here for a couple of weeks or less, then they are gone again until next year. They can be found singly, in clumps or in entire carpets throughout the floor of the woodland, during that brief period before the trees put out their leaves and block out the sun.  They are among the few flowers that you can expect to find in April.

However, this has been a very unusual year, and many plants are appearing a month or more earlier than usual.  So along side the spring flowers you will find many species that normally don’t appear until May or June.  Consequently, this is one of the most lush Aprils I can recall since moving to New York over 30 years ago.  In fact, it has been one of the earliest and most abundant foraging seasons.  I was able to photograph flowers throughout January and February, that simply shouldn’t have been there.

Thanks to the recent rains and warm days we are seeing wonderful displays of flowers, so if you have the opportunity, take some walks in the woods and fields.  You never know what you will come across.

I have included pictures of some of the plants one would usually expect to find in April.

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