Sunday, January 15, 2012

December Flowers?

I certainly was surprised one day in December to see a small bit of purple peeking out from a plant beside the Bike Path. I knelt down for a closer look -
I saw a green plant!

  And yes, it had a very small flower with four lavender petals.
And no, I wasn't supposed to see that in December!

I made sure to get pictures of its leaves and stems so that I could try to identify it.

I finally decided that it was a flower called Dame's Rocket (Hesperis matromalis), and it is usually is a summer flower! However, it is a member of the Mustard Family, and those are hardy souls. The warmer than usual temperatures in November and December must have fooled it! It also may have had 
some protection from the fallen tree branch under which it was growing.

It has continued to survive through some cold snaps into January.
Several more of its buds have opened with encouragement from sunny days.
It is another one of Wildwood's wonderful surprises!

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