Spring Phenology Updates
by Natalie Feldsine
Mohonk Preserve Research Collection & Citizen Science Coordinator
A lot of our spring wildflowers are wide awake at Mohonk Preserve! We’ve been avidly keeping track of first bloom dates for many species.
Many tree species are in full bloom, including Sugar maple (Acer saccharum), and Red maple (Acer rubrum), as well as some of the more charismatic species such as Apple (Malus sp.), Sweet cherry (Prunus avium), Pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica), both Common and Smooth Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea and A. laevis, respectably), and American plum (Prunus americana).
Our native spring ephemerals are past peak by now, including Trout lily (Erythronium americanum) which is now developing fruits down at the Testimonial Gateway, Blunt-lobed hepatica (Anemone americana) can be found along Oakwood Drive and Duck Pond Trail along with Bloodroot (Sanguinaria canadensis). Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) and Red trillium (Trillium erectum) can be also be found throughout the Preserve at this time.
Trailing arbutus (Epigaea repens) has been blooming on Overcliff since the beginning of April and is known for its fresh, floral scent.
Rue anemone (Thalictrum thalictroides) and Wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia) can both be found throughout the Preserve and are easily confused with each other. Rue anemone has six or more petals while wood anemone has five.
Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis), pink corydalis (Capnoides sempervirens)and small flowered saxifrage (Micranthes virginiensis) can be found along rocky banks.
Two species of spring beauty can be found throughout the Preserve and often in the same general area. Virginia spring beauty (Claytonia virginica) has more slender, grass-like leaves, whereas Carolina spring beauty (Claytonia caroliniana) has more ovate leaves.
Red elderberry (Sambucus racemosa) flowers are in bloom. While the black elderberries are edible and used for immune tonics, red elderberries are toxic to humans.