Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Flowers


While in the garden yesterday, I remarked to my 5-year-old grandson, "Look, the coltsfoot is in bloom." He stopped, looked down and said, "Granny, they look a lot like dandi-flowers." It's true. And many adults assume the yellow blossoms along the side of the road at this time of year are dandelions. Coltsfoot, Tussilago farfara, is one of the earliest blooming wildflowers/herbs in the Northeast. Also known as "Father-Before-the-Son" because the flowers appear before the leaves, coltsfoot brings welcome color in early spring. Coltsfoot is used as a cough remedy by herbalists.

Also blooming are sweet violets. "Regular" garden violets will bloom a little later, but the sweet violets always appear first. Pushing up through the earth, garnering our attention, were angelica, catnip, butterbur, squirrel corn, motherwort, nettles, pulsatilla, chickweed and chives. The first of the peepers were singing. The ground is still sodden and there is standing water in many places after the huge rains. Some snow remains in shadowy places. But, spring is springing!