Motivated by the possibility that we might not be able to offer the public Spring Flower Walks this year because of the need for social distancing, we are experimenting with other ways to help you find and learn about these wonderful harbingers of spring.
The first resource we compiled--and are planning to continue to compile weekly until the end of May--is a virtual bouquet (really, just a PDF file) of some of the flowers we see here in Columbia County each week. See “What is Blooming?” below. Columbia County experiences a range of climatic conditions. Therefore, plants of a certain species will often start blooming days or even weeks earlier in low-lying and more southern parts of the County than in the northern parts or at higher elevations. Our bouquets attempt to capture a snapshot of the species in bloom anywhere in the County during a particular week. While it is relatively easy to note the first observation of a species in bloom, it is more difficult to determine when a species is done blooming for the season. To make space for newly recorded flowers, we will not include all species in a weekly bouquet that had alrady been featured in the previeous weeks and might still be in bloom.
In the pdf, the common name under each picture in these weekly “What is blooming?” compilations is currently hyperlinked to either Go Botany, a website of the Native Plant Trust or, in the case of a few ornamental plants, Plant Finder, a website of the Missouri Botanical Garden. Time permitting, we hope to create our own, Columbia County-specific accounts for at least some of the spring flowers.
We invite your participation to help us make this weekly record of “What is blooming?” as complete and up-to-date as possible. Please send us your observations and pictures of flowers (ideally with some location info, such as “in my backyard in Livingston” or “at Hand Hollow Conservation Area”).
What is Blooming?