Native Flora Garden, BBG, April 2008

Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot, Native Flora Garden, BBG
Sanguinaria canadensis, Bloodroot, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Set aside the Cherries for a moment. Now is the time to visit the Native Flora Garden at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden.

There's always something to see in this garden at any time of year - it's a great spot for birdwatching, for example - but right now, during this brief week or two, is when most of the spring ephemerals are in their peak bloom. Check it out soon, or you'll have to wait another year for this show to repeat itself.
With more than two acres divided into eight geographical zones, this wildflower garden exhibits native plants growing in the New York Metropolitan Area, a region known for its natural diversity.

Dating back to 1911, the Native Flora Garden isn't just another wildflower display. In 1931, this wild retreat was ecologically designed to support nine distinct plant communities found within a 100-mile radius of New York City: serpentine rock, dry meadow, kettle pond, bog, pine barrens, wet meadow and stream, deciduous woodland, and limestone ledge, as well as a border mound with several representatives of the region's coniferous forests.

All plants in this garden are appropriate for their particular ecological niches, determined by environmental factors such as topography, geology, soil acidity or alkalinity, moisture, drainage, and light.
I took this set of photos last night on my way to Botany class. This is not even everything that's blooming right now, just the ones I had time to shoot before I had to head off to class.

Caltha palustris, Marsh Marigold
Caltha palustris, Marsh Marigold, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Dicentra eximia, Bleeding-Heart
Dicentra eximia, Bleeding-Heart, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Erythronium americanum, Trout-Lily
Erythronium americanum, Trout-Lily, Native Flora Garden, BBG
Erythronium americanum, Trout-Lily, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's Breeches
Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's Breeches, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Uvularia sessilifolia, Wild Oats
Uvularia sessilifolia, Wild Oats, Native Flora Garden, BBG

I am also quite fond of ferns.

Osmunda cinnamonea, Cinnamon Fern, with some Skunk Cabbage behind
Osmunda cinnamonea, Cinnamon Fern, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Osmunda regalis, Royal Fern
Osmunda regalis, Royal Fern, Native Flora Garden, BBG

Related Content

Growing a Native Plant Garden in a Flatbush Backyard, August 6, 2007
Resources: Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants, May 22, 2007
Native Plant profile: Dicentra eximia, Bleeding-heart, May 22, 2006
Notes from a visit to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden, Late July 2005
My photos of the Native Flora Garden
My other posts about native plants


Native Flora Garden, Brooklyn Botanic Garden
Brooklyn Native, New York City Garden, is a great writeup of tips and sources if, like me, you're interested in growing native plants in your own Brooklyn or NYC garden.
Native Plants Database, Ladybird Johnson Wildflower Center


Anonymous said...

Hi Xris,

I just discovered your blog "by accident" while doing research for a tour I'm doing at BBG today. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw all the beautiful well-labeled photos of the native flora I'd seen yesterday.

I'm so glad to have discovered your blog!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hello Xris,
I just wanted to add my sentiments on the beautiful photography of plants in the Native Flora Garden! See you back in class on Thursday...


Dagny McKinley said...

We have a similar flower to the trout-lily in Colorado called the Glacier lily. It is always the first flower to appear when the snows melt. I'm still waiting for the snows to melt to see the glacier lily's shining face :)

Dagny McKinley
organic apparel

Xris (Flatbush Gardener) said...

anon 10:31: I try to also take shots of the labels as I photograph. That helps me keep things straight so I can label my photos correctly.

You may also want to check out my collections of photos of BBG on Flickr. They're organized by garden and date.

Uli: Thanks! I'm really enjoying the class. I'm glad to finally meet someone who cares for this garden. I look forward to its opening in the Spring every year.

Dagney: The alpine meadows in Colorado are incredible. Short seasons, but intense.