Pennsylvania Bittercress Starts the Blooming Season

Spring is almost a week old already and the signs are everywhere. Geese flying north were a pleasant sound – and sight – about 3 to 4 weeks ago. Sometimes we can hear the swans trumpeting from up high even though we can’t see them through all the trees.

The Northeastern US is slowly warming up to let the Spring bulbs break through the cold hard ground. We have crocuses blooming nicely now in PA, but in upstate NY the white-flowering snow drops are still blooming and the crocuses have yet to appear. Maple trees are growing their winter buds which gives a faint red-maroon cast to the tops of the forests.

I’m sure there are differences in blooming times depending on whether you’re near the mountains or the city. Down in Washington, DC we can see the tulip trees blooming and the buds breaking out on many kinds of trees. A little south and west and you’ll be able to see the Bradford pears showing off their delicate white blooms.

One of the first bloomers we see in PA is the four-petaled Pennsylvania Bittercress. I found a very small example sprouting up between the cracks of flagstone on our front walkway. Photo taken 18Mar2009.

PA Bittercress blooming very early
PA Bittercress blooming very early

Shorter than two inches tall, this has to be one of the smallest plants that I’ve ever seen blooming.

So, what’s blooming in your neighborhood?

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