I've heard them called ephemerals. Indeed, they tend to be small, bright, and short-lived. They sprout on the forest floor, peaking out from beneath leaf litter, or tucked between tree roots or along streams and vernal pools. Here are some that greeted me from April 20 -22 on forays into the woods of a western Pennsylvania town, McMurray, PA.
Please see my native plant series to learn which to plant right now and where to find them.
Got parks in your community? Increased information about native plants and more commercial availability are opening new possibilities for these ecological powerhouses in the municipal realm. Read about new developments in my article for the fall 2013 newsletter of the Connecticut Association of Conservation and Inland Wetlands Commissions. Download the PDF below. Lots of good links and references at the end! Happy reading.
Waterside buffer gardens offer lots more than summer blooms (though they surely do offer those). They help sequester storm water and road runoff, keeping unwanted nitrogen and road pollutants from public water bodies. Through the joint efforts of several organizations, a new buffer garden was installed at Lake Hayward, East Haddam, CT this year.