Subthig’s bloomig

Besides the visible beauties in bloom like the daffodils (about halfway towards peak!), forsythia, Cornelian cherry, maples and spicebush, my nose knows there are other less visible blooms too. Evergreens like Hinoki cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa), Sawara cypress (C. pisifera), and Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica) are absolutely loaded with flowers and great foggy puffs of pollen – more than Gail and I have ever noticed before. (Click to enlarge pictures below – the top one shows a pollen cloud.) My theory is the trees were stressed by the last summer’s drought and are endeavoring to ensure the survival of the species by flowering madly – the same way African violets bloom gangbusters when we forget to water them for a while – in hopes that the next generation will carry on if they can’t. Or they’re simply going through a normal cycle of heavy and light bloom years.

The Katsura (the male flowers of the weeping form – Cercidiphyllum japonicum ‘Pendulum’ shown below) and maples are showy enough for me to call gorgeous but they’re also wind-pollinated – probably smart to not take their chances on insects when April weather can be so iffy.

I am really looking forward to breathing again and seeing the bees working on cherries, crabapples and serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.). Unfortunately serviceberry and crabapples are susceptible to a disfiguring – but rarely life threatening – thing that’s also blooming right now: cedar-apple rust. Check your Eastern red cedars (Juniperus spp.) for bright-orange gelatinous alien-looking galls – they usually bloom on a sunny day right after a rainstorm. Cut them off and throw them away – not in the compost.

What have you noticed blooming?

To see more – and probably showier – flowers blooming around the country and world today, visit Garden Bloggers Bloom Day over at May Dreams Gardens.