Sleeping Forests, Waning Beauties

Spring ephemerals represent the transition from winter months with the promise of their early spring blossoms. 

This group of flowering plants is the first to inhabit forest floors. Their apt name comes from the Greek word ephēmeros, meaning "lasting a day". Spring ephemeral plants emerge at the beginning of spring, before the trees have had a chance to spread their leaves, capitalize on the uninhibited sunlight, and promptly return underground before the summer heat takes hold. 

 Their waning presence is a reminder of the specialized life cycles of plants and the importance small windows between seasons play in ecological processes. This group is on a schedule, carefully timing life events- in other words their phenology is important!

If you’re in the Southern AT or Mid-Atlantic you might be seeing bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis), Dutchman's breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), yellow trout lily (Erythronium americanum), and Carolina spring-beauty ...more ↓

Posted on March 14, 2023 07:03 PM by hai827 hai827 | 1 comment | Leave a comment
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Please join the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) and others in monitoring plants and animals along the Appalachian Trail corridor. All plants and animal observations are welcome and if you add them to iNaturalist they will be available for scientific study. Partners are particularly interested in flowering times in the context of climate change and will review plant and flower submissions to ...more ↓

gmurray created this project on February 20, 2018
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