Friday, March 23, 2012

Bloodroot - one day wonder

Yesterday was the day the bloodroot bloomed. Today, when I get home in the evening, most of them will be done for the year, their petals will be drooping. Perhaps a few petals will already lay on the ground.

For one day, they are brilliant wildflowers, larger than most woodland wildflowers.. For the other 364 days of the year, they are in hiding. In a rare year, I’ve had bloodroot last for 36 hours. I don’t expect this will be that year.

Most of the smaller wildflowers last for a week or more before their blooming is over. Not the bloodroot. All its effort goes into one sunny day and then it’s over. I am lucky as I almost can’t miss them and their day. Without a yard to deal with, I have forest right up to edge of the cabin. Bloodroot line the end of my driveway, right next to the dog-toothed violets.

I probably did miss them a time or two when I first moved into the cabin and didn’t know they were there. I know I learned the hard way, years ago, that they only bloom for a day. I distinctly remember coming into the cabin, busy from something or somewhere and noticing the flowers. Perhaps it was already getting dark. Perhaps I was just in a rush. “I’ll take a photo tomorrow” or maybe I said “on Friday” when I would have more time. I remember returning “tomorrow” or “on Friday” and found that they were already done and over with. Bloodroot don’t wait and they don’t give you a second chance to get that photo.

In case you’re wondering, yes, the blooming is early, almost a full month early. The bloom dates for this flower over the past years were:

2011 – April 19
2010 – April 6
2009 – April 20
2008 – April 21
2007 – April 25

The spring explosion continues, now with appearances by rue anemone, coltsfoot and the unfurling of fern fronds. I’ll be posting those photos soon enough. But for now I didn’t think anyone would mind if I posted another photo of the dog-toothed violets, now that I have several of them blooming.

Dog-toothed Violet


John "By Stargoose And Hanglands" said...

Even if we had them here I'd probably miss them most years! Thanks for another interesting read.

Woodswalker said...

I could hardly believe my eyes when I found Bloodroot here in northern NY yesterday, at least a full month earlier than ever. Next week should bring temps down into the 20s. I hope we don't lose the rest of spring because of these unseasonable temps.

Carolyn H said...

Woodswalker: Things are not only early but also out of order here. Coltsfoot and bloodroot are first, followed by rue anemone, spring beauties and the violets. This year, the violets were first!

Carolyn H said...

John: I don't think you're missing the bloodroot. It's native to the eastern U.S.

Cicero Sings said...

Scary ... that things are so early .... including the bugs!

Snow is just disappearing for us and no wild flowers yet.