Later bloomers

September 26, 2017  •  Leave a Comment

Naturalists and gardeners alike often set their late-winter and early-spring calendars to sync with the first flowers of the blooming season. But in the beginning of autumn, the Skunk Cabbage, Bloodroot, Daffodils, and Spicebush, to mention a quartet, are long gone, as are most of their replacements. Soon, of course, even the Goldenrods and Asters, the glories of September, will be history. That said, the natural world will not be entirely devoid of newly minted blossoms. For reasons that are known only to nature, the Witch Hazel, a ubiquitous shrub from which we derive a soothing liniment and a wooden branch, that, in the right hands, can find underground sources of water, is coming into its floral glory right now. The yellow-green flowers, besides having an oddball opening time, are curiosities in other ways, not the least of them their strange, straplike petal shape and their appearance when most of the pollinators are about to call it a season. There are, however, colder-hardy moths that find the blossoms worth remaining active for, and there are naturalists that find the flowers worth celebrating.


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