Wildflowers from Staten Island – FineGardening


Today’s photos are from Virginia Sherry.

I’m writing to you from Staten Island, the greenest borough of New York City, where I have gardened for over 60 years. I’d like to share information and recent photos about one of our borough’s treasures: the 13-acre Greenbelt Native Plant Center, a nursery, greenhouse, and seed-bank complex. Its primary mission is to provide seeds and potted native plants in support of the restoration and management of many of the city’s most significant natural areas.

The photos I’ve included here were taken by me on a visit to the center on April 26, 2021, just in time to catch some of the native perennials in spring bloom.

Cluster of red columbine flowersWild columbine (Aquilegia canadensis, Zones 3–8) dances in the wind.

Flower buds of a honeysuckle about to openThis trumpet honeysuckle (Lonicera sempervirens, Zones 4–8) is about to flower. When they open, the blooms will be long, red, beautiful trumpets—much loved by hummingbirds.

Group of white strawberry flowersThe fruits that follow the flowers of wild strawberry (Fragaria virginiana, Zones 4–9) are tiny but fragrant and delicious.

Small white daisies with narrow petals and a yellow centerThe delicate little daisy blooms of this Eastern daisy fleabane (Erigeron annus, annual) are visited by a wide range of pollinators.

Two small white flowersRue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides, Zones 4–8), a spring-blooming native, is ephemeral, quickly going dormant and vanishing after flowering.

Shrub with clusters of white flowersRed chokecherry (Aronia arbutifolia, Zones 4–9)

A single red columbine flowerIt’s easy to see that the blooms of wild columbine cater to hummingbirds, with their long red spurs holding nectar.

A pink, five-petaled flowerWild geranium (Geranium maculatum, Zones 3–8) is another spring ephemeral, specialized to get up, flower, and photosynthesize before the tree canopy fully leafs out and blocks the sun from the woodland floor.

 

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