Plants of the Week: March 23

Plants of the Week: March 23

Eranthis hyemalis

When I think “spring ephemeral,” Eranthis hyemalis is always the first flower that comes to mind. It is a reliable standby that beckons to spring; emerging valiantly in multitudes amongst the last of autumn’s litter.  The leaves open first below the single flower bud like a dark green elizabethan ruff. Then flowers emerge bright buttercup yellow and without fragrance; it is not uncommon to see these covering an entire hillside in March and April. Check them out now in the Winter Garden on campus. photo credit: J. Bickel

Leucojum vernum

These flowers have always reminded me of very miniature, ornate streetlamps, emerging singly with a drooping bell-like corolla. They are fairly small and often easy to miss. Each of the six tepals is pure white save at the apical pinch, where a single green blot is neatly placed. L. vernum is an amaryllid and emerges from a bulb year after year for its short, early spring show. photo credit: J. Bickel

 

Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’

This is the time of year for Galanthophiles; and the real key to truly appreciating snowdrops is having an eye for minute details. The very minor mutations make for very rare cultivars, some of which sell for, what might seem to the non-galanthophile layman, an exorbitant amount of money for a single bulb (mid to high triple-digits!). This bulb that I happened upon in the Wister Garden, though exceptionally beautiful, will likely net someone less than $1 per. Galanthus is not commonly doubled like this, so it was a rare treat when I laid on the ground to get a closer inspection and found something unexpected. All of the inside petals are smudged with lovely dark green, which accents the bright white. photo credit: J. Bickel

John Bickel
jbickel1@swarthmore.edu
2 Comments
  • Roxanne
    Posted at 09:11h, 02 April Reply

    I wondered what these bright yellow flowers were. So cheerful and welcome. Thanks for posting about them. I am going to Google them right now.

    • Becky Robert
      Posted at 08:04h, 07 April Reply

      Glad you enjoyed them, Roxanne. They always bring cheer to us in early spring too.

      Sincerely,
      Becky Robert
      PR and Volunteer Programs Coordinator
      Scott Arboretum of Swarthmore College

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