Wildflowers are often associated with the onset of spring, long summer days and even some autumn landscapes. But there are some that add to the typically stark background of winter. These wildflowers are usually quite noticeable during the winter of the year, as they have distinctive features that make them stand out during winter.
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Several varieties of clematis wildflowers, which are native to the open woodlands and meadows of the northern hemisphere, achieve full bloom during winter. Most of these sprawling wildflowers require a wall, trellis or other climbing aid to flourish, and they will continue to produce flowers as the season passes. Winter-hardy varieties of clematis wildflowers, including Clematis cirrhosa, Virgin's Bower, scientific name Clematis virginiana, and Italian Clematis, scientific name Clematis viticella, can be easily cultivated, giving gardens a bright display of showy blossoms during the coldest part of the year.
Winter aconite, scientific name Eranthis hyemalis, is a winter wild flower also known by the name Winter Hellebore. A member of the buttercup family of flowers, Ranunculaceae, the winter aconite has delicate, bright yellow flowers that can bloom in full during late winter and early spring. Winter aconite is poisonous when consumed and it can be invasive when allowed to propagate unchecked.
Snowdrops are winter-blooming wildflowers that can begin producing their delicate white blossoms as early as December, sometimes popping up above a light cover of snow, with displays lasting well into March. These winter wildflowers are upright perennials that grow from bulbs, and they feature narrow, greenish-grey leaves and solitary, downward-hanging flowers that emit a subtle scent. As wildflowers, snowdrops thrive in lightly shaded areas with well-drained soil.
Winter jasmine, scientific name Jasminium nudiflora, is the most winter-hardy variety of jasmine. It was introduced to North America from China in the 1800s. The fragrant, bright-yellow flowers of winter jasmine begin appearing as early as late November, and they continue to appear through the winter and early spring. These winter wildflowers bloom on evergreen stems,and are often seen as colourful ground cover through light snows.
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- Bedford Audubon Society; Enjoying Wildflowers in Winter; Carole Gracie
- Conservation Volunteers Northern Ireland: All About Wildflowers: Snowdrop - Galanthus Nivalis
- University of Arkansas Department of Agriculture: Cooperative Extension Service - Winter Jasmine
- www.rareplants.de: Clematis (Winter Hardy Clematis)
- Ontario Wildflowers: Winter Aconite