Early spring bloomers

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Spring 2017 is underway around these parts.
Unusually mild winter so far - hope I don't jinx it.
Witch hazels are full bloom (#1 is Sunburst, #2 is Jelena).
Prunus mume is just getting started (Peggy Clarke).
Jasminum nudum, Chimonanthus praecox are also blooming.
Are your gardens beginning to stir also?

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(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Those close-ups are scrumptious!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

I went out the following morning (2/20/17) after overnight rain - but have dawdled all week getting these images downloaded to post. Better late than never, and all these are still having a show during this mild winter.

1. Cornus officinalis 'Spring Queen'
2. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Westerstede'
3. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Aphrodite'
4. Hamamelis mollis 'Wisley Supreme'
5. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Jelena'

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Nice. A couple others this past (cold!) weekend:
#1 Chaenomeles x superba Jet Trail
#2 Cornus mas.
And last but not least (#3), Sycoparottia semidecidua just getting started. Surely one of the more bizarre floral delights of the season. Gets bizarrer and bizarrer as the weeks progress...

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Ok - Sycoparottia semidecidua. That's a new one. You'll have to post that again, WR.
I love all these witch hazels! I wish I could grow all of them. And Prunus mume! I love it! My one attempt never broke bud.

1 Winter Jasmine must know that its head was on the block. It is probably its best year yet. I guess it will be worth the extra work for now. My neighbors must think the forsythia is early this year.
2 Arnold's Promise is being very stingy but I can still catch the scent. First bees on Feb 18th.
3. Diane is a little fuller.
4. Sarcococca hookeriana var. humilis not quite open. If it wasn't for the scent, I would hardly know that it ever blooms.
5. Hope for Camellias this year!

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(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Oooh...awww everyone. Very nice!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Good. I can post another round now...

I don't know why some of the images above came out sideways. These are from a desktop computer, and they are upright with seats fastened when I link to them.

1. Hamamelis x intermedia 'Diane'
2. Clematis virginiana seedheads left from fall
3. Salix fawltimemorius
4. Hamamelis vernalis
5. Hamamelis vernalis showing marcescent qualities

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Those were also from 2/20, as are these last few. After today's/tomorrow's big storms, I'll try to get some fresh images.

1. Viburnum farreri 'Candidissimum' (white) and Fragrant Breeze™ (pink)
1. Galanthus nivalis
1. Galanthus nivalis

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

It's odd to hear marcescence described as a quality.
I dutifully de-marcescenced my H. Sunburst before posting. Annoying.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

That willow is very nice but is that the right name? Nothing comes up on my search.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Sad to say, but I've got lots of plants with the same species name.

Edited to add: Loretta, I planted sarcococcus a few years ago, thinking it really wouldn't be hardy here, but it's done surprisingly well and I now have a spreading patch a couple feet wide. But even on my hands & knees, I don't get even a hint of scent. The plant doesn't have much else to boast about, so I've been a little disappointed.


This message was edited Mar 1, 2017 7:59 AM

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

"Sad to say, but I've got lots of plants with the same species name."

fawltimemorius? Is this something like when the newbie asked what kind of bug eggs was infesting their new plant and someone answered Osmocotius?

1. The Sarcococca opened yesterday and it does perfume the air. You must have got a dud or maybe another species? I do like it as an underplanting along with plants like ginger, astilbe and toad lilies.

2. Spiraea 'Ogon' is always flowering here and there from fall through spring.

3. Flowering quince 'Contorta' still not open here.

This message was edited Mar 2, 2017 1:53 PM

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Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Can't say I know the one about bug eggs, but I've left a trail latinized homonyminal messages across the forums here. All in the spirit of levity, in what can be a rather xeric subject matter...

I couldn't find my label on that wet morning, and having only ever planted two clonal Willows at the Valley - those about 10 years ago - no identity came flying to mind. Thus the "faulty memory" cum botanical specific epithet.

No court would convict me...the catkins are too cute.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Lol! I added a syllable and kept seeing Fall Time Memory!

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Lol, I didn't even pick up on that! Lol, Salix fawltimemorius. It would have been too easy if the spelling wasn't as dubious as it was. Good one V!

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Guess I could've gone for the hyphenated Salix fawlti-memorius which would recognize Sir Basil Fawlty AND my poor memory.

Next time, when it's not pouring down rain. But thank you for entertaining my less-than-successful attempt at humor (except for Wee, who catches EVERYTHING).

And by reading what you wrote,,,Osmocote-ius. Got it!

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Lol! I went back and added the 's'.

It's cold again here. All the Hydrangea mac's have green buds. Another year without flowers? Then they are gone.

Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

Struggling through another cold spell.
I took some pictures yesterday to try to catch the blooms before overnight freeze.
#1 is Prunus x Hally Jolivette. I've had a couple of these trees, they've all been wimpy - straggly, never fully loaded with blooms, but I have a fondness for it for some reason - I think the flowers are really pretty.
#2 is Corylopsis gotoana March Jewel. Blooms densely on a very compact plant - only 2-3ft tall. Problem is, I planted it with a wire cage surrounding it to protect from deer. But I never got around to removing the cage, so the plant is now hopelessly enmeshed with it. I keep meaning to use wire cutters to rescue the plant in winter when it's easier to see, but haven't got around to it yet.
#3 is Daphne genkwa. This is just a 2yr old plant, so only a couple blooming stems. I had to replace a 15yr old spectacular D genkwa which was a marvel of bloom every spring. I'm hoping this young guy will live up to the same standard.
#4 is my cute little Chaenomeles japonica var alpina Pygmaea. It blooms off/on from early spring thru late fall. Only a foot tall.
#5 is a surviving branchlet from a previously 8ft tall Magnolia stellata which got repeatedly mangled by deer rubbing to the point it just has a single branchlet left. Yet here it is, blooming it's little heart out.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

As predicted, we had hard freeze last night. Here is last glimpse of my Prunus yedoensis taken from livingroom window yesterday around dusk. You can see some Magnolia Susan flowers in the background - the freeze will ruin the flowers of both.
Here is my feeble effort to keep a couple already-leafed-out maples from being killed by the late frost. Unfortunately looks like the cold snap will last 3-4 more days...

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

So much color already. I hope all is not lost to the freeze. Here, some things are holding up but the snow is coming on Monday.
Prunus x Hally Jolivette does have a perfect bloom.

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

Quote from ViburnumValley :
5. Hamamelis vernalis showing marcescent qualities


Yeah, they don't tell you about that tendency when you are buying them. It takes away a lot of the beauty for me. I heard that a colder winter helps to counteract it and gets more leaves to drop, but I don't know if it's true. I have also heard that certain varieties are better than others. I haven't tried any yet.

The flowers are so awesome though, and they do smell great. My sis has one and you definitely know when you get anywhere near the tree.

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Marcescence is a trait to be employed judiciously, not lamented interminably.

Many gardeners only imagine an evergreen species when it comes time to screen out the view of something. To me, that shows a lack of imagination and many missed opportunities. For those in PNW states, evergreens/conifers are everywhere - so something different can spice up the landscape.

I suggest plants like Hamamelis vernalis as hedging to screen neighbors, garages, utility areas, etc. - and the bonus is the exceeding fragrance when in bloom. Seasonality of fresh leaves and reliably great fall color just adds to the joy.

There are many more plants like this...but to each their own.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Marcescence should be very in now if you think about the very popular Piet Oudolf and his design philosophy. I especially love that about beech trees. As for my witch hazels, they hold their leaves some years and some years not.

Still, the oak trees drive me a little crazy because I can never catch up with raking with them dropping their leaves until spring.

This message was edited Mar 12, 2017 2:46 PM

Scott County, KY(Zone 5b)

Marcescence does not marry well with spic/span...

Camano Island, WA(Zone 8a)

My issue is not the hanging on of the leaves. I grew up around Live Oaks and etc. (I hadn't thought of using their leaves as a winter screen, though, good idea.) What I don't like is specifically a beef with Hamamelis - it's hard to see those beautiful squiggly flowers because the leaves are in the way, and it's right at that time where seeing flowers is highly appreciated since there are not many plants blooming.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

Momlady, that sounds like a solid beef to me, I'd also be irritated if marcescent leaves hid the blooms of bloomers that bloom before leafout.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

Agreed. I do pull them off in spite of what I said.

Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

This was just before the snow. I had no idea how much pollen taxus gave off. I guess I always thought it was dust from the road. The first is the flowers and the second is the smoke that fills the air after a little shake. I was wondering why my dog's nose was running already.


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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

My early blooming trees & shrubs took a beating after last week's cold weather.
We're warming back up now, thank goodness.
#1 is Magnolia Susan. If you look close, you can see a residual hint of purple.
#2 is forsythia - I was surprised, I thought they were pretty tolerant of late frosts.
#3 is Prunus yedoensis. Looking lovely.
On the positive side, lilacs and viburnums budding up lustily.
#4 Lindera just opening.

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Saint Louis, MO(Zone 6a)

I don't really worry about losing blooms to late frost, but I do care about it killing vulnerable early-leafed-out trees. I've lost many fairly mature Japanese maples over the years due to late frost. I have several dwarf maples which are about 20 years old. Unfortunately they were nearly fully leafed-out. I covered them with sheets trying to give at least a little protection. I think most will survive, but one looks particularly awful. It's a beast of a dwarf with a spread of about 8ft, despite only being about 2ft tall. I looked it over thoroughly and only see about 3 tiny healthy fresh-looking leaves. Rest of the plant looks dismal. I guess time will tell.
Any suggestions to help it survive? My inclination is just to leave it alone.

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Pequannock, NJ(Zone 6b)

That's what I would do. It looks like there are still unopened buds and it will probably form more as long as the stems are good.
Your blooms look sad but at least you have your spicebush to look forward to. I will keep an eye open for them in the woods here.

(Robin) Blissfield, MI(Zone 6a)

You already did all you could. The worst case scenario is having to trim the youngest stems back; however, you do need some time to determine if that is necessary. My money's on...it's fine.

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