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.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.
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.
Caltha palustris, Marsh Marigold
Dicentra eximia, Bleeding-Heart
Erythronium americanum, Trout-Lily
Dicentra cucullaria, Dutchman's Breeches
Uvularia sessilifolia, Wild Oats
I am also quite fond of ferns.
Osmunda cinnamonea, Cinnamon Fern, with some Skunk Cabbage behind
Osmunda regalis, Royal Fern
Related ContentGrowing 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
LinksNative 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