Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Some Early Favorites

It seems all too often that you hear of a rare plant that is in bloom and it is just a little too late to schedule a visit to get out and look at it. The plants that I’m featuring today are rarities that are seldom seen by the casual wildflower hunter. That’s because these plants will begin opening blooms this week and will be long past flowering when the typical spring bloomers are at the peak. Small plant size is also a factor in these flowers being overlooked. This is Draba cuneifolia with flower buds beginning to emerge. A dime could smother every plant in this photo.
This Draba reptans is is only days away from blooming. This individual, an extremely robust multi-flowered specimen, tops out at 1 inch in height.
Most of the Draba reptans plants bear only a single flower and are the tiniest of the tinies. The eraser of a number 2 pencil would be more than adequate to cover both of these plants.
A typical specimen of Leavenworthia uniflora is not much larger than the Draba cuneifolia. This plant has produced a single flower stalk. The Drabas and the Leavenworthia are both winter annuals that are normally found on bare, disturbed ground where other plants have a problem growing. The plants put all of their energy into flowering and producing seed to insure future generations.
Leavenworthia uniflora has the potential to produce a large plant if soil conditions are good. This plant shows several flower buds beginning to emerge. Just because it is cold and windy and wet during this time of year, don’t miss your chance to get out and have a look at these early season oddities. Doing something different is usually a sure way of seeing something different.

For a look at these plants in bloom, check out the posts on the Ohio Flora Blog.


  1. What others may see as weeds in their gardens are so pretty when in the spotlight. Very nice. I continue to learn.... :)

  2. I love the rare, little mustards! Looking forward to photographing some this weekend if the weather cooperates :/

  3. Hi, Lois. I had a friend who used to say "One man's weed is another man's weed." That never made any sense to me, but he would always smile and laugh when he said it. Maybe it was just something that made him feel good.

    They're calling for rain and clouds this weekend, Andrew, but sometimes you get better pictures when there's no direct sunlight.