Carderock Area Update for Early April

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azure bluets
Houstonia caerulea
Rubiaceae

Everything that was blooming last week is still blooming, except that spicebush is nearly done, and leatherwood is done.

Seen yesterday around Carderock:

  • spring beauty
  • cut-leaved toothwort
  • Virginia bluebells
  • Dutchman’s breeches
  • trout lily
  • toadshade
  • redbud
  • lyre-leaved rock cress
  • smooth rock cress
  • rue anemone
  • azure bluets
  • kidney-leaved buttercup
  • field chickweed
  • star chickweed
  • wild blue phlox
  • golden ragwort
  • early saxifrage
  • blue violets
  • yellow violets

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Newly blooming:

  • jack in the pulpit
  • sweet cicely (way early!)
  • sessile bellwort [thanks, LW!]
  • swamp buttercup (left)
  • wild pink (below)

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Also, I think I’ve identified a plant I saw last week near the Marsden Tract. It’s a Cardamine species, probably spring cress, C. bulbosa. That doesn’t happen often anymore!

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And, in non-flowering plant news, new croziers are popping out on Christmas fern (above) and rock polypody (below, growing out of moss next to lichens).

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End of March Update for the Potomac Gorge

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lyre-leaved rock cress, in its favorite place

 

 

It’s a strange season. Lots of different plants are blooming, but not in the vast quantities I would expect. Several species are blooming rather early, or very early, like a full two weeks sooner than last year (not unexpected given a very warm autumn and winter).

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star chickweed
quiz: how many petals are on this flower? (answer below)

 

 

On Monday, March 28, harbinger-of-spring was done. Otherwise, the plants I reported on last week are still going, and nothing has hit its peak yet.  To that list add

…quiz answer: five; each of the petals is deeply divided into two lobes, so that a single petal appears to be two