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Spring Ephemerals At The Brooklyn Botanic Garden

This week, a fellow gardener and I stopped by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's plant sale. Surprisingly, I came home empty-handed (probably because I was so overzealous about seed-starting this year). While I did enjoy the cherry trees, my favorite section of the garden is also in bloom and I spent most of my visit there.

If you're planning on visiting the cherry blossoms, ok. Do it and then don't forget to stop by the Native Flora garden. To me, woodland ephemerals, which bloom in spring and then die down to their roots in June, are the awesomest, most magical plants native to North America.

I told myself I wouldn't go crazy taking pictures, but then I saw this lovely beach plum (not an ephemeral and clearly not at the beach) and it was all over for me after that. Beach plums are so much daintier than cherry trees. I think I have to have one now.


Dutchman's Breeches are aptly named. When I was a kid, I discovered them in the woods by my house and then fell in love. Like everything that grows in the woods, they're tough to start from seed. (I tried and failed last summer. My only success was with False Rue Anemone, which I finally planted out this spring after a winter of slow growth on my windowsill. By the way, do not give fish fertilizer to your ephemerals. They hate it.)

My mom has promised to bring me some starter Dutchman's Breeches from Kentucky this year.


Nearby was Heart Leaved Groundsel, another potential addition to the Flutter By 8th garden, I think. It's a prairie species, again, not technically a woodland plant...


Virginia bluebells are, of course.


Every once in a while, nature gives you a white one (Virginia whitebells?), too.


It's too early for bloodroot to bloom, but it's looking very lush just now.


I wonder if the staff at the Botanic Garden has to weed violet sprouts in May. I have thousands of sprouts in a 10 sq ft area at Flutter By 8th. Surely they'd take over the Native Flora Garden too without some supervision.


This is an Eastern Shooting Star.


A little mayapple forest...


This is probably a Trillium grandiflorum. Usually they're white, but this one is pink, and was hiding next to all those mayapples.


Here's another species of trillium, commonly called Toadflower.


Wild bleeding hearts are everywhere. I think they'll start to fade by the beginning of next week.



The noble ramp is quite at home in the Brooklyn Botanic Garden and hopefully it soon will be at Flutter By 8th, too.