P&PDL Picture of the Week for
April 7, 2008

Harbingers Of Spring

Rosie Lerner, Consumer Horticulture Specialist, Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, Purdue University

Though many of us wonder whether spring has really arrived, these lesser known early spring-blooming bulbs let us know that it really has arrived!  Some years, we'll see them in full bloom in February, but this year they arrived mid to late March in the Central Indiana area and are still in full bloom in early April, thanks to the moist, cool weather we've enjoyed thus far. 

The cast of players include:

Snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis
Winter Aconite - Eranthus hyemalis
Striped Squill - Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica

In a supporting role, is the flowerless foliage of surprise lilies, Lycoris squamigera, busy making carbohydrates in spring, then dies back in summer.  Also known as resurrection lilies, these plants send up leafless flower stalks in late summer with pink to lilac colored blooms.

Click image to enlarge

Snowdrops - Galanthus nivalis

Winter Aconite - Eranthus hyemalis

Striped Squill - Puschkinia scilloides var. libanotica

Lycoris squamigera

Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab Purdue Cooperative Extension Service