Maple-leaved Viburnum, Viburnum acerifolium, started to bloom around the middle of May here in South-central PA. It’s a woody shrub that can flower from a single stalk as a young plant. When this viburnum gets a little older, it may flower profusely with clusters at the ends of each branch on the larger plants.
Flowers occur in flat-topped clusters at the branch tips. Leaves are similar in shape to maple tree leaves, thus giving this understory shrub its name.
Flower buds are pink to white in color, while the inner flower parts are mostly creamy white.
Pink flower buds of Maple-leaved Viburnum open up into white flowers with long stamens projecting upward. Anthers on the tips of the stamens make the flower clusters looked dotted.
Red-flowering maple trees are one of the signs of spring that I look forward to seeing each year. The maple flowers give a red tint to the hills around us in the mountain ridges. We have a kind of love-hate relationship. Love their pretty look and signaling of warmer weather to come, hate their pollen. It’s probably a source of dripping noses and itchy eyes for many of us. Tree pollen is very high at the moment.
Looking at the woods we still see deeper into the woods than we’ll be able to in a couple weeks. Without the leaves full out on the trees we can see farther among the trees. Right now our house seems like we have a lot of room around us — it sits in a clearing of the forest. When the trees are leafed in, it will feel a little closed in at first. Kinda claustrophobic until we get used to the new look. Then, when winter comes again we’ll feel a little bare.
Barren trees belie their current state of activity. The sap is flowing and they are getting ready to burst forth with greenery.
Note that you can see through the trees all the way over to the next hill. Green showing in the lower part of the picture is from the white pines.
Most trees are bare of leaves, but the maples are sprouting their red flowers.
Take a closer look at the flower. It has many long stamens that gives the maple blossom a bushy or fluffy appearance. I just love the deep red color, though!
One neat thing is that the flowers appear before the leaves do. I guess that happens with quite a few trees, but the maples are the first to sprout some color.