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It seems as if every flower is doing it's best to bloom all at once. To those who do not understand how different bloom-times are supposed to work, it seems like a boon.

Flowers! Flowers Everywhere!

What I worry about,

Right now a local Aster known as Crown and Beard is blooming a full month early. Normally this wouldn't even start budding out until mid June. It's one of the last flowers to bloom in the late fall.


It's a very popular plant with all pollinators.


Right now is the time for Tickseed and Prickly Pear Blooms. Crown and Beards should be a ways off. Coming into bloom just before Wax Golden Weed.

Already the Echinaceas are blooming as well. Though normally we don't see them until June either.

If the Wax Goldenweeds go early too, and these plants do not keep blooming til the frost, we could have a dearth in the fall, when most bee hives are building up reserves for the winter.

Here is what a Wax Golden Weed looks like below. It has a sort of sunflower appearance, but has a more in common with a succulent, with thick fleshy, serrated leaves. This plant did well in spite of the drought last year. Though not surprising, considering it appears to be made for more arid conditions. It has a tendency to bloom in the driest, hottest part of the year--which is August through September.


So far, I have not yet seen Goldenrod blooming. Another late season forage plant. The mint and the vitex seem to be right on time thus far. But I am already finding clumps of Bitter Sneeze Weed blooming. Another flower out that has bloomed early. It was one of the few flowers that bloomed through the latter part of the drought last year.

It's strange though. Normally when we see crown and beards blooming, the bumble bees are built up and are all over them. I have seen few Bombus this season. I know the drought last year didn't help.

I haven't seen as many leaf cutter bees either.

You can see many of the plants listed here are June Bloomers normally,
except for the bitterweed or bitter sneeze weed. That normally blooms in July-September. It's blooming in my backyard now. I noticed it while mowing the pasture. Mullein is also already blooming as well--another July plant. The Green Milkweed is already going to seed.

I heard a nasty rumor that the flowers are blooming and are fading faster than usual. That came from someone in SE Oklahoma, so I am not sure if that is true here. The mild, warm weather has lead to many blooms lasting a long time, especially on Catalpa trees. However it made me think of desertification. When flowers suddenly spring up in mild, moist weather and fade quickly. Given the problems we are having with trees due to the long term stress caused by drought and fungus, it makes me wonder what this area will look like in 10 or 15 years.

More like Tucumcari and less like Central Oklahoma

Originally posted to GreenMother on Mon May 21, 2012 at 12:09 PM PDT.

Also republished by Backyard Science.

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Comment Preferences

  •  As a hobby gardener in your same (6+ / 0-)

    general area, what is called now the Southern Plains, I observe much of what you have.  While it's true changes have been gradually occuring over the last decade, this is the most bizarre year I have ever experienced.

    I'm to the north and east of you, but I've also experienced the flowers fading fast that you had seen reported.  The blooms have been profuse because of the return of decent rains earlier, though now I'm having to begin some extensive watering since the rains have missed us after a deluge about three weeks ago.  I'm more than a little concerned about what the long summer holds in store since the latest NWS predictions.  Just to keep things alive last year was a frustrating exercise in frequent watering to the extent that our water bill was pretty much equal to our electric which also reached all time highs.

    There are far too many abnormalities this year to list, but my asparagus bed is one good example.  Strangely the shoots appeared a little later than the average, but once up they almost immediately went into fern, then flower, and then seed.  The seed has now matured into the ripe red berry stage.  About ten years ago, they didn't reach this stage until at least early fall.

    I'm not sure any more what to expect at any given time.

    99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

    by blueoasis on Mon May 21, 2012 at 01:00:58 PM PDT

    •  It means your ground is heating up sooner (6+ / 0-)

      Some plants require stratification and then do not grow or grow quickly until the soil reaches a certain temperature. This year, like the last, the soil has heated up early, however unlike last year, the weather has been for the most part mild and moist.

      If your soil is so hot that your Asparagus bolted, I would suggest investing in some shade cloth for the rest of your garden.

      I dug my potatoes up too --2 days ago. About 30lbs. Which is very early. I am putting another set in a different bed to see if I can get a bumper crop.

      FYI Drip hoses are your friend.

      •  Thanks. (5+ / 0-)

        Unfortunately for attempting to adjust to the climate changes, my house is situated on four lots in town and I've worked for years on landscaping all but the smaller lawn areas from the sidewalk to the streets on the north and east.  So I have large areas of plantings on all four sides and many irregular areas, so covering everything that needs to be covered with the weather extremes is impractical for me and even the drip hoses have limited use because of the unlevel surfaces on my hillside locations.

        Had I been aware of how fast and furiously climate change would arrive, I would have planned differently, but at this point in my life, I'm kind of caught between a rock and a hard place, so to speak.  I don't the energy nor inclination to completely redo my landscaping, but then neither do I have the energy to continue to battle the vicissitudes of climate change.

        Of course, my own situation is trivial in relation to what is happening and will continue on the global scale to the natural environment and food security.  But it does make me even more empathetic to the real tragedies of our times.

        99%er. 100% opposed to fundamentalist/neoconservative/neoliberal oligarchs.

        by blueoasis on Mon May 21, 2012 at 02:22:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Interesting observations. (4+ / 0-)

    We have had a very odd year in these parts of England. Many plants bloomed up until Christmas, but the spring plants have been stunted and sparse. The wisteria bloomed for a week and then faded whereas normally they bloom for a month. Plants that usually bloom together are not in sync, etc.
    It has been a peculiar spring.

    "There's a crack in everything; that's how the light gets in". Leonard Cohen

    by northsylvania on Mon May 21, 2012 at 03:29:19 PM PDT

  •  My lavender (3+ / 0-)

    is in full bloom 6 weeks early.  Indian blankets are blooming and mullein, milkweed, passionflower, bitterweed, vervain, sunflowers, bergamot, bachelor buttons, butterfly milkweed, coreopsis, yarrow, primroses are almost bloomed out - they've been blooming for a month, raspberries, blackberries, mints.  

    My tomatoes are already ripening. and my summer yellow crookneck squashes and pole ebans and peas.

    All knowledge is worth having.

    by Noddy on Mon May 21, 2012 at 05:21:40 PM PDT

  •  Insects (3+ / 0-)

    My garden here in Connecticut is running two or three weeks early.  I'm especially concerned about strange goings-on with insects.  We've been here for 15 years and, for the first time, we've got viburnum leaf beetles on our grand old viburnums and aphids on our spireas.  Flies have been swarming the outside of our house and, today, I saw a lightning bug.  They don't  usually show up here until July. we've just had the mildest winter anyone here can remember.  My neighbors feel fortunate because the previous winter was horrific but I feel apprehensive.

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