Red Bud (Cercis Canadensis) and companions at Mt. Cuba, Delaware
As dazzling as are the flowering plants at Winterthur and in others of our pleasure gardens beginning in March in fabulous displays of cherry and magnolia, lilac, and spirea and Asian witch hazel and……
these plants are not native to the eastern US.
The native Red bud tree (Cercis Canadensis) is flowering now: mid to late April.
We watch for this like a rite, a harbinger of a rolling series of wonderful blossoms to come;
like pink-red lace half way up the trunks of poplars (an understory tree).
If there is a native tree which flowers before it here in the Philadelphia area, I don’t know of it and am clearly sleepwalking through my life…..
Sometimes the size of a bush and sometimes a tree, it has a huge area of growth from Ontario, Canada to Florida.
Some native flowers bloom with it.
Jacob’s-Ladder (Polemonium reptans)
More and more, with clear signs of global warming
and with the decline in the number of bees
and the diminution of the population of many other insects,
with the catastrophic fall in the population of certain American bird species,
with the dangers to the health of the monarch butterfly,
Fothergilla (witch alder): a fragrant decidious shrub with flowers without petals appearing before it leafs.
we are paying more and more attention to what is and what is not a native plant with whom native insects, birds, mammals have co-evolved over hundreds of years.
Even if we cannot tear ourselves away from the colours and huge variety and luxury of commercially available non-native plants.