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Spring Ephemerals Print E-mail

Spring ephemerals, are early perennials that emerge and bloom before the leaves are on the trees. They quickly complete their life cycles and go dormant in the early summer.

 

We offer a number of these early season gems and have many more growing in our display gardens. One of my favorite genuses is Jeffersonia, named for our third president, Thomas Jefferson. There are two species of twinleaf, J. diphylla is our native form; it has short-lived white flowers in May. This form has two leaflets that are mirror images of each other, hence the common name twinleaf. The Asian form is rarely offered and highly sought-after because of its exceptional light blue flowers. Jeffersonia dubia has round scalloped leaves that are a great textural compliment to hostas.

          Jeffersonia_dubiaSM

                                                  Jeffersonia dubia

After a two-year hiatus, we will have Dodecatheon, the shooting stars, available again this year. These ephemerals have either white, pink or even red flowers. We will have  five forms of the European wood anemone available this year. Anemone nemerosa 'Vestal' is the double flowering white form. Another popular variety is A. 'Ginny' that sports light blue flowers.

 Anemonella_thalictroides_Cameo

Anemonella thalictroides 'Cameo'

We will offer four forms of Anemonella thalictroides - a very early emerging perennials that have attractive fern-like foliage. The varieties that we will have are, A. 'Cameo' that has fabulous double light pink flowers that bloom for a very long time in the spring. The second variety is A. 'Lloyd's Big Bloomers,' which features oversized white flowers that also bloom for a two-month period. We will also carry the straight species and new this year, A. 'Betty Blake' which has cool double light green flowers. 

As we enter May, the gardens will have a number of flowering shrubs in bloom. My favorite rhododendron blooms at the end of April. Rhododendron 'April Mist' was bred in Storrs, Ct. by former professor Dr. Gus Mehlquist. It is a small-leaved rhody that has lavender flower buds that open to white centered double flowers that are rimmed in light lavender.

Rhododendron_April_Mist

Rhododendron 'April Mist'