The Heralds of Spring
March is the month of the vernal equinox, which marks the start of spring! During this mouth, color starts to return to our gardens in the form of flowers and foliage. Listed below are a few spring blooming plants you can find at Reiman Gardens.
Winter Aconite – Eranthis hyemalis – a short, bright yellow perennial bulb that enjoys sunny conditions when blooming, but shade during the rest of the year.
Snowdrop – Galanthus nivalis – a perennial bulb with small white and green flowers. Snowdrop will slowly naturalize an area nd looks best in sweeping drifts.
Vernal Witch-hazel and Hybrid Witch-hazel – Hamamelis vernalis and Hamamelis x intermedia –shrubs with small ribbon-like flowers that bloom in clusters along the branches. Flower color ranges from pale yellow to reddish purple. Vernal witch-hazel is a US native.
Cornelian Cherry Dogwood – Cornus mas – an intermediate woody plant with bright yellow flower clusters. It can be grown as a large shrub or small tree.
Hybrid Lenten Rose – Helleborus x hybridus – a semi-evergreen perennial with cup-shaped, downturned flowers. Flowers can be white, pink, red, purple, or yellow. Some newer cultivars have variegated veins or double flowers.
Snow Crocus and Golden Crocus – Crocus tommasinianus and Crocus chrysanthus – Small perennial bulbs with bright yellow anthers that bloom before the more common Dutch hybrid crocus. Snow crocus have purple and white flowers, whereas golden crocus are bright yellow.
Early Blooming Daffodil – Narcissus – Popular perennial bulbs. Cultivars like ‘February Gold’ and ‘Tete-a-Tete’ begin blooming in Iowa around the last week of March. Foliage should not be cut back until it turns yellow.
Border Forsythia – Forsythia x intermedia – A shrub known for abundant golden flowers along the branches. Newer cultivars are often more compact and better branched than classic varieties. Pruning can be done directly after flowers fall.
Prepared by Lindsey Smith, Collections Curator
Photo caption: Cornelian Cherry Dogwood – Cornus mas