(413) 245-1264


Opening Hours

Monday-Saturday 8:30 am-4:00 pm. Closed Holiday Weekends.

The weather this week has been wonderful! The sun is shining, it is pretty warm, the birds are singing and plants are poking their heads (and flowers) out of the ground. This week signals the start of our seasonal bloom list. Although the snow trillium (Trillium nivale) was up and blooming at the end of March, many more spring wildflowers have started this week. The first wildflowers up and blooming are sometimes small and easy to miss so be sure you take your time when you walk and look closely for clues.[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×300.jpg” width=”276″ align=”left” title=”Pennsylvania sedge” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””] I have seen the Pennsylvania sedge (Carex pensylvanica) blooming, it is a small tuft of “woodland grass” that gets a black spike on it which opens to reveal soft yellow pistils and white stamens. The anemone meadow rue (Thalictrum thalictroides) has soft pink or white flowers and reddish foliage that blends in with the brown leaves on the ground. Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) is popping out everywhere, its white and pink flowers open as the day warms up. I spotted a toad wakerobin (Trillium sessile) in bloom along the path, its speckled leaves often draw my attention at this time of year but its maroon flower was a welcome sight. The Allegheny spurge (Pachysandra procumbens) is our native alternative to the Japanese pachysandra that too often surrounds our front doors. This native ground cover has evergreen leaves that are green and silver right now. The pink blossoms stand up above the leaves and have a faint fragrance. Bloodroot (Sangunaria canandensis) and cut-leaf toothwort (Cardamine concatenata) both have fleeting flowers that do not last long. Of course, skunk cabbage (Symplocarpus foetidus) is still blooming in all its swampy glory. I love the mixture of deep purple and bright green flowers that it produces. The emerging large green leaves will begin to stand out more in the coming weeks.
I hope you will get out and look around for early spring wildflowers – in your neighborhood, at your local conservation area and even here at the Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary. This week marks the beginning of a six to eight week march of a wide variety of spectacular woodland wildflowers (which is followed by our summer and then fall wildflowers!). Our bloom list is updated on our web page each week, usually on Fridays. Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary has one of the best collections of native plants along our 2 miles of trails in Massachusetts, and maybe New England. Our collection rivals that of New England Wildflower Society. It is free to visit the Sanctuary and there is always something new to see.
Norcross Wildlife Sanctuary is open 9:00am to 4:00pm Tuesday through Saturday.

[lightbox link=”” thumb=”×200.jpg” width=”300″ align=”left” title=”bloodroot” frame=”true” icon=”image” caption=””]

Recommended Articles