By: Jennifer Davit
Walking through a client's property, I came across several large stands of May apple, Podophyllum peltatum. The glossy green umbrella-like leaves unfurl and span 6-8 inches across and stand just over a foot high. You can spot them from a distance, as there are few other plants with such bright green leaves at this time of year.
May apples, along with a small number of other species, are categorized as spring ephemerals - a special group of plants that leaf out, flower, are pollinated and then produce seeds between the time when the snow melts and the trees leaf out. Ephemerals take advantage of this short time period when they take in the sun's energy and then quickly vanish until the following spring. Because ephemerals bloom and set seed so quickly, collecting seed of the fleeting species can be challenging.
At Ohio Prairie Nursery, we are proud to offer seeds of another beloved ephemeral, Virginia Bluebells, known botanically as Mertensia virginica.
This plant's stunning bell-shaped blue flowers help welcome spring in any landscape. If you want to celebrate the first signs of spring at you home, adding some Virginia Bluebells is a great way to start! Be sure to also get out and explore the woods in you area while these fleeting species are visible - if you wait too long, you will miss one of nature's great gifts.
Happy Spring from Ohio Prairie Nursery!