The Blue Jay Barrens Draba cuneifolia have set a new record for early blooming. First full blooms appeared on February 26, more than two weeks ahead of the prior record.
In some places the Draba almost completely carpet the ground. Not a bad showing for a plant considered to be Threatened in Ohio. Lack of snow cover and above average temperatures allowed these plants to put on some impressive growth over the winter. A couple of really cold nights resulted in a discoloration in some of the leaves, but that hasn’t slowed them down any.
This looks like an aerial shot of a forest landscape, but the photo was taken with the bottom of the camera sitting on the ground. All of the plants are Draba cuneifolia. With nothing in the shot for scale, it’s hard to realize that the largest plant in the bunch stands less than an inch tall.
Only a few plants currently have open flowers, but there will soon be more. The majority of the plants have at least one bud opened far enough to show the white petals inside.
There are also plants that are at a stage typical for this time of year. These buds will most likely open around the middle of March, a more normal time to expect the first flowers to appear. A little frost or snow won’t slow these plants down now. I’m expecting an impressive seed crop this year.