Today is the first day of meteorological spring* (astronomical spring is still three weeks away), but as of yesterday, the 28th of February, the wildflower show had already begun along the Potomac. Barely.
Just a few dozen of these were up in sheltered locations.
This one specimen of Packera aurea (golden ragwort; Asteraceae) already had well-developed buds. Often this species will retain leaves through the winter, and many low-lying leaves were visible, but I saw none of the tall growth yet. In the same location last year just a few flowers were open on March 23, with peak bloom about April 13; in 2015, I saw the first ones March 24, with peak bloom in mid-April.
Erigenia bulbosa (harbinger-of-spring; Apiaceae)
More about this in an upcoming post. Can you see it sheltering there under the maple leaf? That’s one plant with about 14 flowers!
A few alien species are starting to bloom: Veronica hederifolia (ivy-leaved speedwell) and Cardamine hirsuta (hairy bittercress).
And, I saw one clump of Mertensia virginica (Virginia bluebells) foliage emerging, but that makes a boring photo.
*more on meteorological seasons from NOAA