Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Images of Spring

We returned from Chicago to find spring blooming all around us. This time of year is so much fun.

Ah, the dandelion. Hated by many. But in our household we love them, the sunny color, the cool leaf shape, and the fun of blowing the seeds around.

Violets are another plant that may be considered a lawn weed by grass enthusiasts. When we lived in Missouri our yard was full of violets and I really loved them. I truly prefer biodiversity in my yard.

Trees do have flowers.
As a botany teacher, I find my students often have the misconception that flowers are one type of plant and trees are another. Thus trees do not have flowers. The same misconception is held about grasses. In fact, most trees and all grasses are flowering plants. It's just that the flowers are often reduced and we don't notice them because they are not showy. But this time of year, it is blatantly obvious that trees have flowers.

Flower pear - just beginning to open up.

Magnolia Tree
Maple Tree - Technically, this tree has finished blooming and the fruits are starting to develop. The fruits of the maple tree are the helicopters you may be familiar with. This type of fruit are called samara and are specialized for dispersal by wind. They are just starting to develop. Helicopters are a favorite at our house, so expect to see more pictures of them as spring progresses.

Woody Shrub - Forsythia. Another sunny yellow flower, which brightens up cool, cloudy March days.

Finally, a close up of a daffodil (or is that narcissus?)


Colleen said...

That looks like a daffodil to me - but I'm not expert. Nice shots of all the greenery - I'm so GLAD it's spring!

Sparkling Squirrel said...

Narcissus is always correct, as they are all genus Narcissus. The distinction among snobs is of trumpet to calyx ratios, but I've always gone with gestalt. If it's yellow with a trumpet, definitely daffodil, if it's flat with white calyx definitely narcissus, and if it's other, how I feel at the time.

Sparkling Squirrel said...

So, I went looking for confirmation from the horticultural snobs (who are different than botanical snobs) and their are 12 RHS (Royal Hort Society) divisions of narcissus, and the divisions are about ratios. It just turned out I had forgotten jonquils and that the trumpet is the corona. The back part is just listed as perianth, which is weird to me.

Jennifer said...

Thanks so much SS. I knew I could count on you!

I too had forgotten about jonquils.