Early Whitlow Grass (Draba verna)
Draba verna is one of the earliest blooming plants, often opening as early as February and blooming through May. It is found in waste areas - the edge of fields, along paths, areas that are often disturbed. The basal rosette is no more than 1 to 2 inches across - this example was no bigger than a 50 cent piece. Originally native to Eurasia, it has made its way across the US (except for a belt across the center of the Country). The flowers are self fertile - which is good as not many pollinators are awake in February - each flower producing very large seeds that drop and can create small colonies. Although the name suggests that it is a form of grass, it is not, it is a member of the Brassicaceae (mustard) family. Once spring passes and summer comes around, the Draba verna withers away.
One site I was reading summed up this plant beautifully, "...Instead, maybe its best to leave it in place and enjoy it for what it is: a tiny, brave reminder that spring is on its way and an encouragement to get down low once in a while to admire the little things." - Awkward Botony
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Since 2015 we have been exploring and sharing all the amazing things we’ve found in nature.
Emily is an Ohio Certified Volunteer Naturalist who is most often found out in the woods.