Monday, April 9, 2012

Pink Dogwoods and Redbuds

This has been a wild spring: temperatures in the 80s in march means all of the spring flowers have bloomed at once. But it also means that two of my favorites are blooming at the same time: Cornus florida and Cercis canadensis.
Redbuds or Cercis canadensis are a particularly interesting tree. The flowers (and subsequent fruits) come out of the bark of the tree itself in a phenomenon known as cauliflory. Unlike cherries or other spring flowers that result in large circles of color above the trunk, redbuds maintain their structural shape and simply explode with pink flowers up and down the truck and branches before leafing out.

But truly, my favorite spring flower has to be the pink Dogwood.

They are so cheerful and happy. In nature the bracts are white, but pink cultivars have been bred and their seedlings now populate forests and overgrown lots around Philadelphia. This one was photographed in Fairmount park and makes the most beautiful pressed specimens.

Both of these beautiful trees make beautiful street trees and both are native to Pennsylvania as well.

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