For this year there is no question concerning which native plant is first to open flowers here. Round Lobed Hepatica is the clear winner. This plant is located in our raised bed and we drove to Irma's woods across the valley where the sunlight makes a stronger statement. We found open Hepaticas there also that looked as fresh as ours. This light purple coloration is our favorite and it is common with these round lobed plants. Pictures taken yesterday in full sunlight did not show much color. This picture was taken later in the day today. I was kneeling on the stone wall to cast a shadow on the plant. That provided a good picture but the skin lost on my leg while attempting a smooth dismount will prove to be an inconvenience for many days to come.
The other common blossom color for this plant is white. Their brightness and purity is a major mood booster and we are pleased to have both. Here the bright sunlight had a positive impact on the picture. Usually these plants hold last year's leaves that turn liver colored over winter but continue to nourish the early flowers. For some reason our plants do not have these functional leaves this year.
Early Meadow Rue is a prized plant here. We found it for sale just a little north of Hartwick. This plant is female and the fact that Becky knew of its two genders impressed the seller. Flowers were pollinated here last year with the new seedlings now making an understated appearance guaranteeing that this plant will grow here in numbers.
The newly emerged male plant appears more subdued than the female. Flower structure will be different and we will closely watch the growth cycle of these plants.
Bloodroot is another early blooming native plant. Weather has not been kind to these plants for the past two years. Our search today did not produce a sighting of an emerging plant at either Irma's woods or our garden. Bloodroot is usually in flower close to the time of the Hepatica but this year no trace of these plants has been found. Spring rainfall has been missing here and that may be a factor in the lack of these plants. Deer made their presence know here with many hoof prints and holes where our Bloodroots were planted. New plants were Fall purchased and planted but to date there is no sign of plant growth here.