Crow’s Nest: Finally, flowers

April 12, 2022

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Deep violet flowers of round-lobed hepatica poking up through leaves on the forest floor

Photo: Daniel Barringer

It seems like we’ve had weeks of cold, wet weather. And compared to photos I can see online from other natural areas around our region, we’ve been lagging far behind them in the advance of the spring season. So far the spring ephemeral flowers were limited to bloodroot and spring beauty, and the flowers of the former were mostly closed on cold days, and the latter severely limited in number as they are early in the season, only becoming plentiful later.

All that is about to change. Trout-lily is up and blooming. Dutchman’s breeches’ buds are just now opening along Piersol Road. Marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) is visible in a swamp beside Trythall Road. The wood anemone is in the earliest stages of blooming. And round-lobed hepatica (above, this afternoon) is now in full bloom—just in time for Saturday’s Hepatica Hike. We’ll be scouting the woods along Mine Run for these and other early wildflowers—a welcome sign of spring.