Friday, December 14, 2012

Carl Kurtz's Photo Essay: Virginia Bluebells

In preparation for the upcoming second edition of A Practical Guide to Prairie Restoration by Carl Kurtz, we're excited to be sharing Carl's beautiful photos and observations about nature!

Carl Kurtz is a professional writer, teacher, naturalist, and photographer. He and his wife and partner, Linda, live on a 172-acre family farm in central Iowa that is one of the few prairie seed sources in the Midwest.

Virginia bluebells (Mertensia virginiana) are early spring plants of moist woodlands and are often found in floodplain forests.  They normally bloom from mid-April through mid-May in the upper mid-west. This year due to the unseasonably warm spring weather, they are 3 weeks to a month ahead of their normal seasonal schedule. I have seen their flowers covered with wet snow in late April.  Check out large patches carefully and you may find a plant with white flowers.  They make excellent yard flowers as they die back to the ground in late May and do not appear again until the following year. 

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