Author: Phyllis Root
Photographer: Kelly Povo
April 7, 2019
It’s become an annual rite of spring: going to look for native wildflowers when it’s still far too early for flowers to bloom. Over the years we’ve grown a little wiser –we no longer head hours north while snow is still piled deep on the ground here in Minneapolis and Saint Paul. But inevitably, after a few nice days, I’m convinced the snow trilliums and pasqueflowers must be blooming, and so we head down to Hastings and Cannon Falls to see. Inevitably, too, we are far too early to see any blossoms, but that doesn’t stop us, even though year after year proves that just because the snow has melted doesn’t mean that the flowers are blossoming. Two weeks ago, the pasqueflowers were the tiniest of buds on the hillside at River Terrace Prairie Scientific and Natural Area (SNA), and snow trilliums in Hastings were nowhere in sight.
This past Saturday we try again. At Grey Cloud Dunes SNA we see leaves of potential native wildflowers that we can’t identify, and a few, such as prairie smoke, that we can. In Hastings, snow trillium leaves with tiny white buds are visible, and outside Cannon Falls some pasqueflowers are unfolding their furry leaves with a few petals turning purple. Not spring yet, but enough of a promise to make us determined to come back in a few days, certain they’ll be in full bloom by then.
Really they will. We’re sure of it.
After all, it’s springtime, and we’re fools for wildflowers.