Tom's Blog

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie: Wood lilies out early this year

It is not surprising, considering everything else that has happened this spring; I saw my first wood lily (Lilium philadelphicum) in flower a week ago at Black Earth Rettenmund Prairie. A few days later there were about a dozen in flower, in various parts of the prairie. As far as wood lilies are concerned, we are at least three weeks ahead of schedule.

Kathie and I have been conducting a field trip at Rettenmund Prairie for the past 10 years and have always scheduled it for mid June, when the wood lilies are generally at their peak.  Sometimes we miss the peak by a few days, but this  year we will probably miss it completely. (This year the trip is scheduled for June 21.) Anyone wanting to see wood lilies would be advised to visit within the next week, or in early June!

Our field trip should still be worth attending, since everything else will also be early and there should be plenty to see. I saw flower buds on a butterfly milkweed several days ago. This species usually flowers in July!


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