The University Record, April 1, 1997

Spring blooms are on the way

By Joanne Nesbit
News and Information Services

The drab of winter is beginning to give way to the glory of spring blossoms, sometimes fighting their way through piles of snow to show off their colors. Even though blooming times are dependent upon local weather conditions, a three-year study by the Nichols Arboretum has determined the average flowering dates for the woody plants, wildflowers and ground covers of Southeast Michigan.

Southeast Michigan is again confronting erratic temperatures and weather conditions that may influence blooming or flowering times, but it is not too soon to begin looking for the earliest signs of spring. Through the end of March, the white blos soms of snowdrops usually are evident with skunk cabbage and myrtle following a little later and extending into April. By April Fool's Day, blue violets should be evident with bloodroot, crocus, trout lily, rue-anemone, marsh marigold, trillium and daffo dil right behind.

Guy Smith, curator of the Arboretum, says some of the best blossom areas in Nichols Arboretum can be found by following the path from the Geddes Avenue entrance to the Appalachian Glen, the Wetlands and the Dow Prairie.

The Arboretum is open daily, sunrise to sunset. Admission is free. When visiting the Arb, remember to collect only photos and memories, that dogs must be leashed and that alcohol and bikes are prohibited.

To obtain a copy of the average blooming and flowering times for woody plants, wildflowers and ground covers in Southeastern Michigan, send a stamped, self-addressed #10 envelope to Gwen Christensen, Nichols Arboretum, Dana Building, Ann Arbor, MI , 48109-1115.

Nichols Arboretum can also be visited via the WorldWide Web at http://www.umich.edu/~snrewww/arb/index.html.