This year is the first time I've observed the (typically early-blooming) eastern redbud and the flowering dogwood trees in full flower at the same time. In fact, the weird weather pattern we experienced this year seems to have all the trees blooming at once, in the process producing pollen in prodigious portions. Ahhhhhh CHOO! Bless me and be good and grow. Jack
The Chinese dogwood (Cornus kousa), unlike its American cousin, the flowering dogwood (Cornus florida), blooms later in spring after the leaves have appeared. This variety is called 'Milky Way' and it is especially floriferous. Here's a list of a few other trees that bloom at this time of year that have especially showy flowers:
Stick a few tomato (Lycopersicon lycopersicum) plants in the ground (or in containers) and grow your own. Home grown vegetables taste better, save money and are good for the environment and your health! Plant a few of the vegetables in this list and you will enjoy your own fresh salsa all summer long:
The giant bulrush (Schoenoplectus californicus) or tule, as it is called in California, is a water-loving perennial like its close cousin papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). This bulrush grows across the southern United States from California to Florida and South Carolina. Native Americans made flour from its seeds and young bulrush shoots, as well as the rhizomes, were consumed both raw and cooked. Mmmmm, bulrushy. Here are a few more American native perennials that like wet soils and swampy conditions:
Moutan or tree peony (Paeonia suffruticosa) isn't really a tree but it is really a peony, related to the more familiar herbaceous Chinese or common peony (Paeonia lactiflora). The difference is that moutan is a deciduous shrub with sparsely branched woody stems that grows 5 to 10 feet in height.
The eastern red-cedar (Juniperus virginiana) has been one of my favorite trees since I was a kid in Kentucky where it was one of the few native evergreen species in our area. Click here for more on the eastern red-cedar, a great choice for bird and wildlife habitats in USDA Zones 3-9. Here's a list of links to other juniper species that are often used in landscapes:
The paperwhite daffodils (Narcissus spp.) are in bloom here in the Cincinnati area at mid-spring. For more on spring flowering bulbs, read Ray's articles about The Daffodils and history of The Tulips then check out Floridata's profiles of these and other spring-blooming favorites:
The Hawaiian Islands are home to an array of native plant species that has attracted the attention of botanists, naturalists, horticulturists and world travelers ever since Europeans first visited the islands near the end of the 18th century. Read more »
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The hummingbirds love native American coral honeysuckle vine - especially at this time of year when its beautiful blossoms burst forth and they line up to sip its delicious nectar. Technically they don't actually line up as much as wage furious battles over which hummer will have exclusive feeding rights to the flowers! Hummingbirds don't seem to share very well. Read about the coral honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens) and download large versions of this and other images.
More vines that will attract hummingbirds to your garden:
This deciduous shrub or small tree is native to much of the eastern half of the United States. At this time of year it become very showy as the red fruits ripen. Also called Indian cherry (Rhamnus caroliniana) is a fine species for woodland and wildlife gardens. Click to download a large version (800x600) of this image.
These American beautyberries (Callicarpa americana) are just beginning to ripen. Clusters of berries form at each leaf node and ripen from the bottom of the stem to the tip. These are just beginning to ripen, turning from green to (ultimately) a vivid metallic purple. Click to download a large version (800x600) of these beautiful berries. Here is a short list of other berry-bearing species (or visit the Master Plant List with the "bird" filter set to see even more):
The banana shrub (Michelia figo) is probably finished blooming back home in Tallahassee, Florida. The interesting flowers resemble small versions of those of its relatives, the Magnolia species (see southern magnolia) - and they actually do smell like bananas (Musa spp.). Download a large version of this image or visit the banana shrub profile for more.
Here are some other spring-blooming shrubs:
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