Bluebell Time

Hi River Roaders,

There is a magical time of spring here in the Mid-Atlantic that I call “Bluebell Time”. If you live close to a floodplain like the area around the C&O Canal, you should be able to see Virginia bluebells (Mertensia Virginica) in bloom for the next couple of weeks. We are lucky to have a really nice bluebell patch in our Conservation Area (rumor has it that it was planted by Brad and Shirley Patterson). This is a great time to take a walk in your favorite stream valley, or come to RRUUC and take a walk in the back!

This is the patch of bluebells I’ve been taking photos of the last two weeks. They’re open!

Sometimes bluebells are pink when they first open.

We have lots of jewel weed (our native impatiens) in our conservation area, including many “clumps” like this that are not close to where the jewel weed was last year. Why is this annual plant growing in this tight clump? Do you think birds have something to do with it?

We have several cherry trees on our grounds. After all, we are in Kenwood Park.

We have two stands of wood poppy (Stylophorum diphyllum) on our grounds. Not to be confused with the non-native invasive Lesser Celandine that grows along stream banks and displaces large amounts of habitat for native wildflowers.

A school of fish? The left side of our lower entrance driveway is filled with trout lily (Erythronium americanum) that should be blooming in the next couple of weeks. The large amount here is uncommon – check it out!

I’m not sure what this plant is in our Memorial Garden. The flower looks like an azalea, but I haven’t seen any other azaleas bloom yet. Can anyone help me ID?

Bluebell time is also peak daffodil time.

My favorite legume, the eastern redbud (Cercis candadensis) a couple of days before blooming. We are lucky to have many of these understory trees on our property.

This is a magical time of year. I hope you can get outside if you’re able. You are welcome to come take a walk on our newly expanded trails in the Conservation Area behind the Memorial Garden.