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Spring Wildflowers are Popping


Virginia bluebells in bloom
Virginia bluebells at Bowman's Hill Wildlife Preserve

Spring has certainly sprung in the Philadelphia area, with more and more flowers popping open each day. While daffodils and tulips are gorgeous, there is something so special and stunning about native wildflowers. And, the best place to see them is in the forest.


Many Spring wildflowers are what we call ephemerals. These are the flowers that grow in the typically shady understory of the forest. However, in early Spring before the trees have leafed out, there is abundant sunlight for these briefly blooming beauties. They pop up and show their glory for a short time and then fade away until next year.


The great thing about the 60 Hikes Philly book is the lovely organization in the front. Hikes are grouped geographically first, but they are also tables that show what you can find on each hike. There’s a category specifically for wildflowers.


Some of my favorite Spring ephemerals are skunk cabbage and Virginia bluebells. Skunk cabbage is one of the first to emerge in the Spring and is often found near water sources such as lakes and creeks. Virginia bluebells are recognizable by their delicate blue and pink flowers.


Hikes where you might see Spring ephemeral flowers include newly added Saunders Woods, Crum Woods, and Awbury Arboretum. And Churchville Nature Center has gorgeous patches of skunk cabbage along the lake shoreline.


One of my favorite places to see native wildflowers that is not featured in the book is Bowman’s Hill Wildflower Preserve. As its name suggests, it is an outdoor space dedicated to the preservation of native flora. There is a fee to enter, but it is worth it. I didn’t include it in my book because of the fee. All the hikes listed in my book are free as the wind, except for a few that require paying to park.


Bowman’s Hill is nearby many of the hikes in Bucks County, so would make for part of day trip. It’s also in New Hope, which is a fun town to visit to shop and dine. The Preserve also lists what is blooming during each season. They also have a plant nursery where you can buy native plants, which you should do, because the insects and native fauna need more native flowers to dine on.

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