What’s in Bloom
Canada Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis)
Though many species of Columbine can be found growing wild in the United States, only one of them, Canada Columbine, is native to the Eastern region of the country. It can grow as high as 2’ tall, and generally flowers an orangey-red in the late spring. White and yellow flowering varieties (such as ‘Corbett’) are relatively common as well. Though it faces predation from a variety of pests and diseases, Columbine also self-seeds readily and naturalizes wherever it is planted. Though last year there was only one solitary Columbine plant found on the Greenway (pictured), Canada Columbine can now be seen flowering throughout the Wharf District Parks following our addition of over 100 new Columbines through the 2010 and 2011 growing season. Look also for ‘Little Lanterns’, a dwarf variety growing only to 10” tall.
Bearded Iris (Iris germanica)
As one of the most common and easily recognizable late spring perennials, many have probably already noticed the Bearded Iris across the Greenway just beginning to flower, as if they carefully waiting for a few sunny days before gearing up towards their peak bloom. The word iris is greek for rainbow, and due to a long history of hybridizing and experimentation, they are available in quite a wide variety of colors. ‘Depth of Field’, a peach colored cultivar is currently flowering in the North End, whereas ‘Breakers’, a soft or pale blue variety is preparing to open in the Fort Point Channel Parks.
Dwarf Meyer’s Lilac (Syringa meyeri ‘Palabin’)
Though the cool, cloudy, and damp weather has delayed the flowering of our lilacs significantly past the usual Mother’s Day deadline, the Dwarf Meyer’s Lilacs are now indeed flowering in both the Fort Point Channel and North End Parks. Though originally native to Northern China, the commonly sold form of Meyer’s Lilac is not generally found in the wild, known only in cultivation. The flowers are purple in color and have a fragrance both rather distinct and distinguishable from that of other lilacs. Dwarf Meyer Lilacs are currently flowering in both the North End Parks and Fort Point Channel Parks.