Maryland Wildflowers of Spring and Summer

Posted on May 4, 2009

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These tiny white-and-yellow wildflowers appeared in the grass in West Ocean City last week.

These tiny white-and-yellow wildflowers appeared in the grass in West Ocean City last week.

You can see the progress of spring (and soon summer) week by week, as Maryland’s wildflowers make their brief annual appearances.

By the beginning of May, dandelions are already an old story. They’ve been everywhere for weeks. The first dandelions started going to seed by the second week of April here in West Ocean City, and they’re still growing strong.

Last week I spotted the first of the small white variety of clover in the grass in West Ocean City. Dandelions and the white clover are among the few wildflowers that flourish in spring and then hang around through the summer. Most of the others are short-lived phenomena, like the yellow forsythia that start the parade of flowers in late March.

Of them all, my favorite is the purple clover that “paints the hillsides” in June, to quote a Chesapeake Bay region folk song.  The purple clover nearly disappears by the end of June, to be followed by the orange daylilies that decorate Maryland’s side roads and rural mailbox posts for the July 4 holiday.

Someday I’ll have to write a post about Maryland’s seasonal bugs. I’ve already seen my first wasp this year, but have yet to spot a bumblebee. Has anyone seen the first firefly of the year anywhere in Maryland? I don’t think they begin to appear until June.

(If you have pictures of Maryland wildflowers that you’d like to share, please e-mail them to me at bjhaydenolney@gmail.com, and I’ll be happy to post them.)

— Bernie Hayden

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