Climate change and Spring flowers

Climate change is speeding up the time when trees come into leaf in Spring. In some areas this is reducing the flowering time for wildflowers in early Spring.

For short-lived spring wildflowers such as the Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia), timing is everything. These fleeting plants, known as ephemerals, grow in temperate forests around the world, coming into flower early in Spring before the trees above them come into leaf.

If these plants emerge too early, it will still be winter. If they emerge too late, and it will be too shady under the forest canopy for essential photosynthesis to happen.

Climate change affecting flowering time of Wood Anemones
Wood Anemones in Belgium

Over their evolutionary history, these plants have figured out the best timing for their survival. But climate change is altering spring growing conditions, and plant life is changing along with it.

Research in the US

Research conducted by the USA National Phenology Network investigated this timing by looking at historical records and comparing them with recent records. (Phenology is the study of cyclic and seasonal natural phenomena, especially in relation to climate and plant & animal life).

They discovered that trees in Concord, Massachusetts are more sensitive to the increased spring temperatures due to climate change than wildflowers are. This is resulting in trees coming into leaf earlier, which is reducing the available light on the forest floor. This in turn is affecting the blooming of woodland plants in early spring such as the Wood Anemone.

Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia)
Wood Anemone (Anemone quinquefolia)

They extended their work to other regions of North America. They found that as temperatures warm, deciduous trees across eastern north America are coming into leaf faster than native wildflowers are responding.

They found that in the warmer Springs now being experienced, trees were coming into leaf on average 10 days after native wildflowers were blooming, instead of 13 days in the cooler Springs of years gone by. This is giving the wildflowers about 25% less full sunlight time during which to photosynthesize.

As Spring temperatures warm even further with climate change, the researchers expect wildflowers will have even shorter periods of full sunlight. This could mean a sizable decrease in the flowers’ energy supply and ability to survive, grow and reproduce. In other words, fewer wildflowers.

Better news from Europe and Asia

The researchers extended their study by collaborating with colleagues from Germany and China to evaluate over 5,000 tree and wildflower specimens collected over the past 120 years.

A common pattern was found across all three continents. Trees and wildflowers are active earlier now than in the past, and they are active earlier in warm years and places.

However, in a surprising twist, they didn’t see the North American pattern of trees being more sensitive than wildflowers on the other two continents.

In Europe, wildflowers and canopy trees seemed to be shifting together over time. In Asia, the understory wildflowers were shifting more than the trees – meaning they might get more light, not less, in a warmer future.

These results suggest that eastern North American trees have become especially sensitive to temperature as a way of adapting to this region’s highly variable climate.


    • Yes Jo, it’s amazing how resourceful nature is. But I sometimes wonder if the human-induced changes are happening too quickly for nature to catch up.


  1. Global chemtrail ingredients are damaging the environment and patterns of nature (this has been going on since the end of WW2) — with globalist governments using weather manipulation through extensive upper atmosphere seeding with toxic chemicals including aluminum — and yes, this IS causing huge erratic climate change and ecosystems destruction as well as harm to humanity). I highly recommend taking a look at Dane Wiginton’s extensive in depth research on his website at: https://www.geoengineering This is not a conspiracy theory — it is happening everywhere right before our eyes.

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  2. We are certainly feeling the impact of what our industrial ways have had on mother earth. We have snow in parts of NZ and it is only early Autumn. Crazy weather. Love the images, Denzil.

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