Spring Has Begun Part I


Spring has started here along the Gulf Coast area.  Snowflakes or leucojums are some of the first to bloom.

Wendy’s Wish Salvia has made a comeback from flooding rain and freezes.  It didn’t bloom at all last year.

Paperwhites bloom along with Snowflakes.  Both are bulbs that can survive our climate.

Fire Spike, Odontonema strictum begins its blooming in late winter.  It is a hummingbird favorite.  Most Fire Spikes are red like fire, but somehow I have pinkish purple one.

Violets, of course, are early bloomers and this Australian violet, Viola hederacea, is growing happily on rocks and the patio after relocating itself more than 5 feet from where it was originally planted. The first time I bought this plant, it was called Confederate Violet.

Mixed in with it, is what I have always called Mexican Knot Weed.  As it turns out, the plant is from China not Mexico.  Its proper name is Polygonum capitatum and its common names are Pink Button, Pink Knotweed, Pink Fleece, Pinkhead, Smartweed, Pink Clover and Punching Balls.  I could not find the name Mexican Knot Weed, except on the single pot I bought over 20 years ago.  This little plant came along when I moved by hitchhiking with another plant and it has popped up here and there all over the yard.  In China it is used to cure many aliments.

Part II coming.

26 Comments on “Spring Has Begun Part I”

  1. Tina says:

    Lovely to see, especially as we’re stuck in the gloom. I’ve never had any luck with either paperwhites or snowflakes. Thanks for sharing yours!

  2. Deb says:

    It is exciting to see those first signs!

  3. tonytomeo says:

    Those snowflakes are the closest I have to the snowdrops that so many others show off. I should get pictures of mine to brag about. I really do not understand the allure of snowdrops.

    • I grew up in the cold and snowy North and I think the fascination is because they are some of the first flowers to bloom.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Yes, that is what others tell me. Of course, I do not get it.
        Crocus were popular when I was a kid, because so many people here migrated from colder climates. However, because it does not get cold enough for them, they do not naturalize.

      • I can grow rain lilies, so they are kind of substitutes for crocus or tulips. There used to be a list of what we could plant if we miss our northern plants, like Crepe Myrtle for Lilac.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Crepe myrtle for lilac? That is no substitute! When I was a kid, I was told that lilac would not grow here; but it was quite common, and does well even in Los Angeles.

      • Not really, but they were trying to make all us Yankees feel at home.

      • tonytomeo says:

        When monster homes were built on the last scrap of orchard in town, the developer was asked to leave the last few apricot trees along the road, and then to maintain them, and replace them as they deteriorate, just like a real orchard. The development is known as ‘Heritage Grove’. Well, as the trees deteriorated (which they did within the first few years because of lack of maintenance, and all the flowery junk planted around them to make them pretty), they were replaced with flowering cherries, as if none of the natives would notice. It is SO insulting, and to make matters worse, even the flowering cherries are not being maintained.

      • People do not respect plants as they should.

      • tonytomeo says:

        Some of us do. Sadly, professionals who should respect the are most often those who are the most unappreciative.

  4. Christina says:

    My last comment disappeared!! Strange about the name of the knapweed. Common names can be so misleading. So good to have some spring flowers.

  5. shoreacres says:

    Your Polygonum is interesting. I’ve known only a couple of native species, but they produce floral spikes. I just read on the Wildflower Center site that there are 75 species of smartweed/knotweed in this country. I did find a Polygonum mexicanum that is, reasonably enough, native to Mexico. It may be that confusion in the past led to that becoming a common name.

    Anyway: they’re all beautiful. Despite the fog and gloom, I went out yesterday afternoon and was surprised by what I saw. When I went back through my archives, it seems that everything is right on schedule. For four years, I’ve found everything from Indian paintbrush to gaillardia in mid-February. Nature’s doing her thing, and I’m just trying to catch up!

    • The mexicanum looks quite different. I think the growers use common names that might make you want to buy it. And yes, I buy anything that says Mexican, as they usually grow well here.
      Nature is probably better at keeping a schedule than us.

  6. Ann Coleman says:

    Oh, how I wish it was spring here!

  7. Anonymous says:

    On spring just two months away.

  8. Chloris says:

    You do have some lovely early blooms.

  9. Pretty! isn’t spring wonderful and you have an unusual array – Salvia at the same time as Paperwhites. We have pink Firespike here, I have a hard time getting enough water on it in the sugar sand and mine pouts and refuses to flower, yours looks great.

  10. Very pretty! Those white ones look like what we call snowdrops here in Canada.

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