A walk through an eastern woodland in early spring is a treasure hunt for me. Only in this short window of time, before deciduous trees leaf out and while the sun still reaches the forest floor, does one have the opportunity to discover the fleeting blooms of our native spring ephemerals. This weekend, I spied some of the earliest of these, a happy colony of Bloodroot, its blossoms grouped in a gleaming white bouquet.
Bloodroot’s flower buds emerge in early spring wrapped tightly in a leaf that shares their same stem and that may help to trap warmth. The showy clear white blossoms with yellow stamens open in the sun and close at night. Bloodroot’s large leaves fully unfurl after the flowers fade. The leaves are strongly textural with deep clefts, and they in turn disappear in mid-summer when bright sunlight no longer reaches the forest floor. The metaphorical common name derives from the reddish sap exuded by the roots and stems of the plant when cut.
Last spring, OvS planted Bloodroot in several of our projects, tucking the low plants close to woodland paths amongst a richly textured groundplane of ferns and sedges like Dryopteris marginalis and Carex plantaginea that fill in as Bloodroot goes dormant. This spring, I am thrilled to watch as these delicate woodland beauties have their day in the sun.
Native Range: Eastern North America
USDA Hardiness: zones 3-8
Growing Conditions: Moderate to full shade; moist, well-drained soils
Detail of Sanguinaria canadensis 'Bloodroot'
Sanguinaria canadensis after blooming
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Posted in Projects, tagged azalea, Barbara Slifka, Eric Groft, Frank Genese, Garden Design, Greenwich Academy Madrigal Singers, Jane Cooke, landscape architect, landscape architecture, New Azalea Garden, New York Botanical Garden, NYBG, oehme van sweden, ornamental shrub, OvS, perennial, rhododendron, Shavaun Towers, Sheila Brady, Todd Forrest, Towers Golde LLC, woodland on May 20, 2011|
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The New York Botanical Garden commemorated its 120th anniversary with the grand opening of the New Azalea Garden on May 7 and 8 with a festive ceremonial ribbon-cutting and preview of the New Azalea Garden. The 11-acre Garden features extensive perennial collections designed collaboratively by NYBG and Oehme, van Sweden & Associates and landscape architecture by Towers│Golde, LLC.
The first tour of the garden!
This premier collection of the world’s azalea species features 300 varieties of azalea, rhododendron and diverse companion plantings which are woven together in this restoration of the original garden. The display offers a venue to enjoy, learn about and be inspired by the beauty and diversity of these ornamental shrubs and perennials in a mature woodland environment.
L to R: Jane Cooke, Sheila Brady, Todd Forrest, and Barbara Slifka
The design team of Todd Forrest and Frank Genese of NYBG, Shavaun Towers of Towers│Golde, LLC and OvS’ Principal-in-Charge Sheila Brady, were honored at the festive ceremonial ribbon-cutting and preview of the New Azalea Garden. Distinguished guests were treated to the garden’s dedication, performances by the Greenwich Academy Madrigal Singers and tours of the New Azalea Garden.
Eric Groft and Barbara Slifka
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