Tiny treasures

The small flowers of round-lobed hepatica (Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa or Anemone americana, below) do not put on much of a show, but this local woodland native is prized in the garden along with several other early flowering perennials and ephemerals. Several sharp-lobed hepaticas (Hepatica nobilis acuta or Anemone acutiloba) planted late in autumn have not yet appeared, a common story for new plantings that are planted late. I’m certain these will be similarly appreciated with blooms that shine through dark piles of decaying leaves.

While foliage of round-lobed hepatica is mostly evergreen, though its leaves often become discolored in winter, rarely do I remember where anything is planted that’s not obvious through the year. Annually, I must search to find it, but also Trout lilies (Erythronium americanum, below) that blend into the background until a yellow flower appears. Dog tooth violets (Erythronium ‘Pagoda’, below) have more flowers and prominent leaves without the distinctive markings that differentiate the two. Both are treasured.

Trout lily
‘Pagoda’ dog toothed violet

Trilliums are appearing daily, with several showing their first glimpse of color while others have barely broken ground. My wife and I are spoiled by a nearby mountain park with uncountable numbers of native trilliums, but we treasure our relative few.

Every day a few trilliums pop up in the garden. This was the first and largest, and it quickly moved from foliage only to flower, which is almost open.

I don’t believe that Glory-of-the-snow (Chionodoxa forbesii, below) will ever grow tall enough to flower through one of our occasional March snowfalls, but the vigorously spreading clump is appreciated for covering a bit of a waste area used as a path to one of the brush piles. If all bulbs would spread so quickly, from a few dozen planted to thousands, I would not second guess each purchase of a few handfuls of winter aconites and crocuses.

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