What’s in Bloom
Our spring cleanups have begun and we already have to tread lightly over the fragile bulb foliage coming up under foot. Our whole staff is looking forward to the display this spring, with ten different varieties of alliums, drifts of daffodils and crocus, and a number of other bulbs planted in our parks.
Our Snowdrops are still blooming throughout the Fort Point Channel Parks and the Wharf District Promenade. In addition to the Giant Snowdrops (Galanthus elwesii), we have Common Snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) as well as a lovely cultivar called ‘Flore Pleno’. We spotted this demure double-flowered cultivar standing no more than 3 inches tall in the promenade, which just goes to show what you can miss if you don’t take the time to look!
‘Flore Pleno’ Snowdrop (Galanthus nivalis ‘Flore Pleno’)
Some of our favorite early spring bloomers are the Witch Hazels, which began blooming in February. While some of them are nearing the end of their flowering, the ‘Arnold Promise’ cultivar is still covered in sweetly fragrant yellow flowers in the Fort Point Channel Parks. Each bright yellow flower has four narrow petals which meet at a reddish cup-shaped calyx, which is the outer-most whorl of parts that form the flower. The Arnold Arboretum in nearby Jamaica Plain introduced the ‘Arnold Promise’ cultivar, which is still considered to be one of the best selections of the Chinese and Japanese witch hazel hybrids. This cultivar was chosen out of a handful of seedlings hybridized in 1928 by William Judd, the propagator at the time.
‘Arnold Promise’ Witch Hazel (Hamamelis x intermedia ‘Arnold Promise’)
The Japanese Cornel (Cornus officinalis) is another woody plant flowering this week. This species of Cornus appears to be similar to the better-known Cornus mas, or Cornelian Cherry, but flowers earlier and is used as a medicinal plant in its native China, Japan, and Korea. While walking through the Urban Arboretum we could not help but notice the bright yellow flowers covering the plant, and upon closer inspection we were delighted to find that the bees were enjoying them as well!
Japanese Cornel (Cornus officinalis)
To see other horticultural highlights check out our Flickr photostream: