What’s Blooming: Christmas Edition

That’s right, plants are blooming at the moment. IMG_4210

 This Rue Anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) is adapted to bloom in colder weather. It’s a good strategy in a deciduous woodland.  All the trees lose their leaves and suddenly the forest floor gets full sun.  It’s only winter sun, but it’s plenty for these tiny plants.IMG_4222

  Lots of buds about to open despite freezing nighttime temperatures.IMG_4212

This Green and Gold (Chrysoganum virginianum) will have fully developed flowers by Christmas Day. They usually start blooming this time of year and continue through spring and even summer sometimes.

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The first two are adapted to flower in cold temperatures, but some other plants in the nursery that normally flower in summer and fall decided they aren’t quite done yet. This Maryland Golden Aster (Chrysopsis mariana) did not appreciate being topped and defiantly made a new flower stalk.  I had to trim the dead tops/seed heads from all of our potted plants last month.  Two reasons: 1) to collect the seeds for next year, and 2) so they would fit under our frost cloth row cover to protect their above ground roots from freezing.  Normally with in-ground perennial plants I would wait until late winter to trim back the stalks. Even dead flowers can be pretty as they slowly cast seeds to the wind, and the stalk can actually help protect the roots from freezing by gathering a mound of snow over them.  That’s becoming less and less of an issue around here though. IMG_4216

 This Goldenrod (Solidago erecta) also started flowering after being cut back to the soil. My meddling caused just a few more flowers:IMG_4213

Black Eyed Susans (Rudbeckia fulgida) normally bloom in the late summer, but I didn’t move these up from the seed trays until August, and cut back any flowers so they would concentrate on making roots instead.  Once again, they decide when they’re done and made these flowers under the frost cloth last week.IMG_4215

Happy Holidays from Beech Hollow Farm!