Monday, March 24, 2008
Spring Proceeds Despite the Cold Weather
My outdoor thermometer read 52 at 5:00 p.m. this evening when I arrived home from work. Not exactly bone chilling, but we've only had two spring days break 60 degrees this spring. Last year at this time, I was photographing the open blooms of wildlflowers in Kenney Park. This year, nothing is blooming, yet. We'll have one warm day, and up will come a floral bonanza. Still, it is difficult to wait. The two most notable green plants popping up along the Olentangy this spring are Allium canadense (as pictured above), wild onion, and the non-native invasive Ranunculus ficaria, or lesser celandine.
This plant is up in its full glory, and it will be only a matter of days before its yellow blossoms carpet the floodplain. Plants that make it to invasive status usually exclude all other plants from growing and become ridiculously dense. Lesser celandine is no exception-look how it carpets the floodplain along the river. It really prefers this habitat, as it has not made its way up onto the stream terrace adjacent to the river.
At work I'm increasingly becoming involved with the management of non-native invasive species. Its a challenge, but knowing the invasive non-natives in your area, and avoiding planting these species is extremely important. You can get more information about Ohio's Invasive Plants at the Division of Natural Areas & Preserves invasive species information page.