Wildflowers on the RailTrail

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Things are changing quickly

20 April

The abundant moisture and warmth have really sped up the spring flowering.  Along with the grass weeds like stitchwort and creeping charley and dandelion and the escaped garden flowers like daffodil and grape hyacinth are the first Spring ephemerals.  Spring ephemerals are the dainty, often abundant, flowers that emerge, bloom and fade within days or weeks–before the trees leaf out and shade comes to the woods or trail.  Most are small and can be overlooked if you aren’t watching for them, but are exquisite in their form and beauty.

Along mile 9 the Dutchmen’s Breeches and Bloodroot are blooming on the steep slopes and Trout Lily leaves are appearing everywhere.  Look for the Trout Lilies to bloom where there are two or more leaves on a stalk.  At mile 6 and 7 there are more Bloodroot and emerging Wood Anemone as well as Spring Beauties.  Mayapples are unfurling from Mile 5 to 7 and Trout Lilies are appearing from mile 6-10.  Some Hepatica are still blooming along the Hospital Wellness trails.  Twin leaf, Trillium, and  Rue Anemone are also blooming now.  Please report if you have seen these along the trail.

The Wild Geranium and Canada Anemone foliage is covering the ground everywhere, along with the Wild Strawberries.  Deep crimson shoots of Meadow Rue and the basal leaves of Black-eyed Susan are appearing.  Golden Alexander is sprouting up among the new Cattail and Blue Flag Iris.  Foliage for the Trailing Arbutus and Fringed Gaywings are appearing with their growing buddy Wintergreen.  Both Virginia Bluebells and Celandine Poppy foliage and buds are out.  Let us know if you see these spectacular flowers along the trail.

Flowers for Pussy Willow and Poplar, Maple and Birch are dropping and tiny leaves are appearing on most trees and shrubs.  Soon the woods lining much of the Trail will fill in and muffle the traffic sound from Saginaw Road.



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