First Weeds Blooming in February

Friends up and down the East Coast have shared that some flowers are blooming way early this year. The very mild winter seems to have confused a lot of plants out there. We have tulips poking out their greenery about three inches. They’re right next to the house and gather more heat than plants further from the house, but it’s still surprising to see them out in February.

It was a beautiful day yesterday so the dog and I took a walk together. I think we both really enjoyed being outside. We walked together up the lane and back to the old bean field. Stubble from last year’s soybean crop had delicious smells, evidently. The dog left his scent many times for the deer and turkeys that we regularly see in this field.

We walked the edge of the field to a rise on the north side. This area gets lots of sun as the open field lies to its south. The day was unseasonably warm, just like the rest of this winter. I was wearing just a shirt and hoodie and was totally comfortable, if not a little warm once we walked a bit.

To my surprise once we got to the highest spot in the field there were the tiny white flowers of Pennsylvania Bittercress blooming in the sunshine! That has to be the earliest I’ve seen them blooming. We usually see these tiny flowers appear in the middle of March, not February.

Pennsylvania Bittercress blooms
Pennsylvania Bittercress blooming very early.

In the same area we saw Purple Dead Nettle blooming too, but not to the same extent as the PA bittercress.

Purple Dead Nettle blooming early this year.
Purple Dead Nettle blooming early this year.

Since I didn’t take the camera on our walk, I picked a couple of these weeds and plopped them on the scanner once we got home. Do you see the detail in the images above that can be picked up with a scanner as compared to a macro photo? If I could have scanned the items when they were freshly picked instead of after being squished in my pocket for a while, you’d be able to identify the plants more easily.


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