WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Mild Weather Causing Early Bloom In Some Perennials

Play associated audio
Perennials like crocuses are designed to survive early thaws, like the one the D.C. area is experiencing.
Carrie Eberhardt: http://www.flickr.com/photos/cjrphotos/5575332297/
Perennials like crocuses are designed to survive early thaws, like the one the D.C. area is experiencing.

With temperatures in the region rising to the mid-60s for the third day in a row, you might find that your backyard perennials are confusing the mild weather with an early spring.

About this time back in 2010 we were just 48-hours away the 20 to 35 inches of blizzard conditions dubbed  "Snowmageddon." Two years later, it almost feels like spring, and that's causing certain perennial blooms to begin poking green shoots through the soil like it was May. 

Margaret Pooler a research geneticist with the National Arboretum says she's not surprised: "What we're seeing with some of these plants coming up and breaking dormancy is totally natural, based on this unusual weather that we're having this year." 

But, it is February and if we get hit with another storm, what then?

"Some of the more sensitive plants might get some freeze damage or get cold stress depending on how long the cold spell lasts," says Pooler.

If it does snow, Pooler says perennials like crocuses are designed to bloom early and should be just fine.


Writer James Alan McPherson, Winner Of Pulitzer, MacArthur And Guggenheim, Dies At 72

McPherson, the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, has died at 72. His work explored the intersection of white and black lives with deftness, subtlety and wry humor.

Oyster Archaeology: Ancient Trash Holds Clues To Sustainable Harvesting

Modern-day oyster populations in the Chesapeake are dwindling, but a multi-millennia archaeological survey shows that wasn't always the case. Native Americans harvested the shellfish sustainably.


Twitter Just Turned VP Nominee Tim Kaine Into Your Dad

Democratic vice presidential nominee Sen. Tim Kaine introduced himself to America Wednesday night as a fighter, Hillary Clinton's ally and — your dad.

Writing Data Onto Single Atoms, Scientists Store The Longest Text Yet

With atomic memory technology, little patterns of atoms can be arranged to represent English characters, fitting the content of more than a billion books onto the surface of a stamp.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.