A Facebook post from Rant partner Allen Bush got me thinking about wildflowers-not that we’ve been seeing too many flowers outside of any type here in Western New York. Now is the spring of our discontent: after a semi-glorious winter that had temps frequently breaking into the sixties and even seventies, April has been very disappointing. I hope to have good nature preserve weather by the end of the week.
Around here-as with many regions-you have to venture into wooded areas to see wildflowers in any kind of quantity, and even there they are less reliably found, thanks to deer and the spread of true invasive species like garlic mustard, hogweed, knotweed, Japanese honeysuckle, and the like. I have to admit that I enjoy color of all kinds when walking in our local preserves and I am sure a lot of it is coming from the invasives.
What you can count on around here are trillium, columbine, may apples (podophyllum), solomon’s seal, violets, erythronium, Dutchman’s breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), claytonia, cranesbill, and a few others. I have never seen lady’s slippers in the wild, but I know they’re around. I’m not one of those wildflower hunters, however; I go to a few local preserves where I know I will see common wildflowers in quantity, which I find more satisfying that searching through the underbrush for one exquisite specimen. I’m just as happy seeing well-populated areas of mayapple, erythronium, and trillium-or even fiddleheads. It gives a better illusion that unspoiled areas still exist-sort of.
Where do you stand on the wildflower issue? Still hunting for the one that got away?