NYC Wildflower Week

Is well underway. There are events until Sunday in all the boroughs. Some of the things you might see include the following, which are blooming now:
Tradescantia virginianaSpiderwort (Tradescantia virginiana).Geranium maculatumWild Geranium (Geranium maculatum). Stylophorum diphyllumCelandine Poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum). Podophyllum peltatumAnd, in the hiding the light under the bushel department, the Mayapple (Podophyllum peltatum). This lovely white flower grows underneath its two deeply cleft leaves. Plants without flowers have a single leaf. Asarum canadenseAnd speaking of hidden: the unusual flower of Wild Ginger (Asarum canadense), which grows at the base of the heart-shaped leaves, down in the leaf-litter. Both Newcomb’s Wildflower Guide and Gracie’s Spring Wildflowers of the Northeast call this odd flower “curious.”

There are alternative names, long cultural histories, and much else associated with these ephemeral flowers, which you should look up. Meanwhile, don’t pick, trample, pee on, or otherwise troll these fragile blossoms. It takes a lot of maintenance to keep these things growing in the face of feet, paws, invasives, tires, ATVs, and all the assaults urban parks are subject to. There is a terrible irony in the fact that the natural habitats of our region must be protected from… us. These blooms were all seen in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

(Thanks to Sarah and Chris for helping with identifications.)

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2 Responses to “NYC Wildflower Week”


  1. 1 Sean May 13, 2014 at 9:18 pm

    That Wild Ginger flower is curious indeed! Where did you find it?

    • 2 mthew May 13, 2014 at 11:35 pm

      This is a species native to the eastern half of North America where there are remnant rich woods; it’s unrelated to the ginger of delicious spiciness. In NYC, it is found in the botanical gardens’ native flora sections, and in Brooklyn Bridge Park.


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