Slow down to see spring's ephemeral flowers

Bumblebee on bush honeysuckle. Photo: Kimberly Stoner, Ph.D.

Big bursts of yellow forsythia call out to us in late April, like billboards for spring, easy to see as we fly by in cars, trains, or on bicycles.

It's a welcome sight, but the picture is missing something. Forsythia is not native to our area—and, therefore, not of life-nurturing importance to some early-emerging insects such as bumblebee queens, some butterflies, flies, wasps, and moths."

Some of these choosy creatures rely on early-blossoming native flowers. These early flowers are called spring ephemerals because, usually by summer, their flowers and leaves will die and disappear entirely.

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