7 Spring Flowers To Look For In Southern West VirginiaMarch 29, 2010
Spring hits Southern West Virginia like it’s really, really mad at winter.
One day, brown hills. The next –BAM– green. Everywhere. And the only things that are breaking up all that new spring green (except a lot of mud) are our beautiful spring wildflowers.
In the beginning, there was brown. All of a sudden, flowers come from everywhere. That’s a typical West Virginia Spring.
And leading the pack are the deep green and bright yellow daffodils. Daffodils happen to be some of the easiest flowers in the world to grow. Since they grow from bulb and from seed, they end up literally all over the place. Lucky us.
Right there in the running for first is the hardy little crocus. Crocuses (crocii?) have all kinds of different colors, but the shapes are generally the same among species. Also, the yellow stamen of the, um, crocii are collected to make the spice saffron. Yum!
There might not be any tree with a more appropriate name than the redbud. Making red buds is what the redbud does. Everywhere. If you drive around the mountains of southern West Virginia in the spring, you’re going to see three things: cliffs, waterfalls, and redbuds.
Right along with the redbud are the beautiful swaying chains of lilac-colored Pawlonia blooms. The Royal Paulownia, or princess trees, are spread around the Mountain State for two reasons: They were adopted as ornamentals around the turn of the century, and the seed pods were used as packing peanuts for everything that was shipped by rail. Great way to proliferate.
Another early bloomer isn’t quite a flower. Instead, look for spring green to be complimented everywhere by the bright, bright yellow of the Forsythia. These bushes are great yard ornaments, and are also found around the edges of river corridors. If lemons were leaves, it would look like a F0rsythia bush.
Spring flowers get rounded out when the roadways and walkways of the state get taken over by the chest high blooms of the wide spread tiger lily. There might not be another flower that better shows off the state in spring. They’re wild, they’re everywhere, and they’re beautiful.
Actually, there’s one more that might show off the state even better than the tiger lily. It’s the state flower: the rhododendron. This one will be in full flower right around Mother’s Day in colors from white to flaming pink. The stand at Grandview Park in the New River Gorge National Park are the prettiest ones in the state.
Hope you get a chance to see some spring flowers this year. What are your favorites?