Native Plants

April Showers…

By Vickie Bell

Many of us grew up with the rhyme “April showers bring May flowers.” And many of those flowers are not neatly confined to our gardens. Mother Nature has her own dazzling display in our woods, meadows and along stream banks. Below are a few of my favorites from April and May of last year. For more information on spring ephemerals, check out this article.

This picture (left) was taken at Deep Run Park where there are several small fringe trees in the woods. I was excited to see one of the state’s largest fringe tree specimens on our field trip to Norfolk Botanical Gardens in May of 2015.

This Fire Pink (right) was growing trail side in Powhatan State Park. So much more vibrant than the usual pink wild flowers we find, the Fire pink’s principal pollinator is the ruby-throated hummingbird. I think I’ll go back this spring to watch quietly for one of those tiny jewels to fly in for lunch.

These Virginia Bluebells (left) were photographed along the bank of the James River in Powhatan County, but you can find them growing at Lewis Ginter Botanical Gardens for a very showy presentation.

The Spring Beauty (right) is one of our earliest spring bloomers. These were found in Robious Landing Park. They peek up through the brown forest floor to show a dainty spot of color. It grows from a tuber eaten by native Americans and colonists.