First Flower of the Spring: Prairie Crocus

Prairie Crocus starting to show colour in early spring.

Last post, when I said I would have to move the Prairie Crocuses to a cool spot to keep them in bloom for the Friends of the Farm sale, I wasn’t joking, but I didn’t think I would have to start doing the move on April 2nd. Yesterday, the largest bud on the Prairie Crocuses in the hoop house started to open in the warmth of the afternoon sun. Perhaps this is the one I shouldn’t sell but keep for seed, for future very early blooms.

In the Rock Garden, the fuzzy buds of Prairie Crocus are visible but still small.

Finding the first wild Prairie Crocus to bloom is something of an obsession for naturalists in Manitoba. Manitoba’s floral emblem occurs in the wild in Ontario, in a few locations near the Manitoba border. Prairie Crocus can be cultivated in rock gardens in the Ottawa valley, providing early floral resources for pollinators and cheering gardeners with their very early bloom.

By Trish Murphy

Artist: botanical, still life, and natural history illustration. Garden designer: native plants and naturalistic gardens

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