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Archive for April 9, 2013

Coltsfoot Blooming

4-9-13 coltsfoot IMG_7600You’ll find this early bloomer, Coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara), growing in some of the most barren spots on earth – roadsides that are awash with salt from the winter and that are nutrient poor, to say the least, but if sun and moisture are available, these dandelion look-alikes often thrive. Emerging this early in the spring, when temperatures can still dip down below freezing, has its challenges.  Hairy scales on the flower’s stem help keep the plant relatively warm.  Although the flower head is initially angled downward, when it blooms it straightens out and greets the sun.  During the night, and on cloudy or cold days, the flower closes, conserving heat.