Monthly Archives: April 2008

This is Chaenomeles speciosa

This is Chaenomeles speciosa or flowering Quince. This 6-foot tall, thorny shrub, a member of the Rose family, flowers for three weeks or so in Spring. When I brought this into the house and forced it into bloom the flowers were a delicate shade of pink – lovely!

If these formidable thorns could be pierced at one end to enable threading they would make great needles. My neighbor would take the fruits to the Amish who would make jam or jelly from them. They are said to have a tart flavor and taste best when cooked.

Chaenomeles is from the Greek words, chaino, to split; and meles, an apple. It seems to come from their mistaken belief that the fruit was split.

Better Pictures


Perhaps these pictures do better justice to the leaflets.

Can you identify me?

After 20 years I finally noticed the newly emerging leaves of this tree; they are so dainty for such a large tree. It is Quercus palustris aka Pin Oak.

Daffodils Change Colors!

This is Narcissus ‘Einstein,’ also shown in the second picture of the last posting. This picture is taken on April 15 whereas the first picture was taken 3 days later, on April 18th. I had to recheck my pictures because I was pretty sure Einstein’s petals had been yellow only 3 days ago. Now they are a pristine white.

The name Narcissus comes from a mythological character named Narcissus. He fell in love with his beautiful self upon seeing his reflection for the first time in a pool. Unable to embrace his reflection/lover he pined away and the flower Narcissus grew where he died; the term narcissism also comes from this source.

Today’s Muscari and Daffodils



Of Dogtooth Violets and Bloodroots

These began blooming today: The yellow flower is Erythronium americanum aka Dogtooth Violet or Trout Lily; the mottled foliage belongs to the Erythronium. The white flower is Bloodroot, aka Sanguinaria canadensis; the lobed leaves, upper right are Bloodroot’s. It has a wonderfully bloody root – great for Halloween.

Today’s Bulbs




These bulbs are blooming here today.

Bulb Clarification

The term “bulb” has been used generically here. But clarification is required lest I lead the reader astray.

Strictly speaking, a crocus is not a bulb but a corm – a compressed stem. It’s similar to a bulb but has no scales. A nice visual can be seen at http://plantpropagation.com/corms.htm

However Galanthus is a true bulb or modified underground stem. A true bulb has scales attached at the basal plate.

Bulbs carry their own food within these underground stems and thus feeding them additional food is optional. Many give a sprinkling of bone meal or compost after the flowers have finished.

The true food they need is in the leaves that you must allow to die back naturally. Do not remove them until they have yellowed and will easily pull away when gently tugged. If flowering seems less than in previous years you probably need to lift and divide the bulbs or corms.

The word Crocus is the Greek name of saffron: Crocus sativus. Galanthus is from the Greek ‘gala’ for milk and ‘anth’ for flower referring to the white blooms.

Spring Bulbs.



Seems time to restart this blog since finally, after the long winter (not over yet – might still get snow) a smattering of bulbs have bloomed.

The Galanthus were first up, in mid-March.

Then the Crocus started to bloom during the first week of April. This is two weeks later than I’ve previously recorded their bloom. But it must have been tough to get through the heavy Easter snows.

The first week of April the crocus looked great but now are all gone:( They can take the cold so what happened? I wonder if the warmth, 73 degrees, of last Tuesday was too much for them? Or could it be that as I raked the oak leaves off of them I damaged them somehow?

These crocus usually bloom for at least three weeks and I miss them already and now have to wait for another year. Happily some daffodils are ready to pop!