Carderock Area Update for Early April


azure bluets
Houstonia caerulea

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


Newly blooming:

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






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!


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).


End of March Update for the Potomac Gorge



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).



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