Spring Ephemerals of the Great Lakes

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Date(s) - April 15, 2019, Monday
7:30 pm - 9:00 pm

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, auditorium


Meeting with HVC Michigan Botanical Club

Bob Smith and Robert Ayotte

Spring ephemeral describes a life habit of perennial woodland wildflowers which develop aerial parts (i.e. stems, leaves, and flowers) of the plant early each spring and then quickly bloom, and produce seed.  The leaves often wither leaving only underground structures (i.e. roots, rhizomes, and bulbs) for the remainder of the year. This strategy is very common in herbaceous communities of deciduous forests as it allows small herbaceous plants to take advantage of the high levels of sunlight reaching the forest floor prior to formation of a canopy by woody plants. Examples include: spring beauties, trilliums, and harbinger of spring.

From his vast library, Bob Smith will be displaying and discussing several colorful photographs of spring ephemerals; while Robert Ayotte will highlight the systematics and site preferences for each species.


This is a primer for upcoming field trips!