I'm noticing that the exotics flower early in spring, and that's what everyone associates with a Louisiana spring, azalea cultivar mutants being the main ones. There's also the Bradford pear, a cultivar of the invasive Callery pear from China and Vietnam. Well, the real Louisiana plants — at least the ones I have — flower a little later than that. I'm guessing it's because they and the insects that feed on them have evolved together, and insects aren't active until later on in late March and April. I don't know, but I decided to go around this morning and take pictures of all the pretty colors. Mostly, these are isolated plants, so don't think that I have lush gardens of mass plantings yet.
Lyreleaf sage has taken over the backyard brick area. In spring, the plants grow edible leaves — not that I've eaten them yet — and shoot up a flower stalk or two. Because I don't want them there all year, I cut them back after they go to seed. Everyone wins.
I'm mixed about lantana. Butterflies seem to love them, but they're not exactly native to the state. Oh, well. Whatever.
Oh, tropical milkweed. Absolutely not native but oh so available thanks to nurseries.
I thought this was deertongue until today, but that one's from the north. I'm going with panicgrass because it looks closer to what I have. It's pretty prevalent right now and has lots of little flower buds. It's quite endearing.
I was surprised to see this rush in flower. I wasn't convinced it liked its location in my rain garden.
I have two Virginia sweetspires next to the bird bath. They are now getting into full bloom.
I also have two strawberry bushes. They are both covered with these little inconspicuous flowers that will eventually grow into something vaguely reminiscent of strawberries by September or so.
For the first time, I have Indian pink that is not only alive but about to flower. I can't wait.
I bought this penstemon on a whim in October and here it is blowing up with purple flowers. Pretty cool.
The daisy fleabane is back again this year. It's a biennial, so it's important to let them flower and go to seed before mowing.
I don't agree that Florida anise smells like fish. I think it's more like the beach in general.
I got these scarlet sage seeds from LSU Campus Lake last fall. They're doing really well next to the driveway.
I didn't expect this mealy blue sage to hang on. It came with the Native American Seed mix I got 3 years ago. It's looking healthier than ever.
This pink evening primrose is also from Native American Seed. It's all over the highways west of the Atchafalaya, but I haven't seen it in Baton Rouge anywhere yet.
My new possumhaw viburnum has decided to grow a bunch of flower buds. I look forward to seeing what they look like.
Good old black-eyed Susans are already in bloom. I suppose they'll go all year long.
Just in the past couple days, the lanceleaf coreopsis are starting to open. What a great color.
Carolina geranium are just finishing up and going to seed. I'm going to let them finish before I cut them back with my reel mower.
For the first time, I have a couple oakleaf hydrangea growing flower buds. Finally!
The Carolina buckthorn is steadily getting bigger. It's now full of flower buds.
I was going to take a picture of the Hercules' club flower buds, but this caterpillar was way more interesting. It's a nasty thing, but the butterfly (giant swallowtail) is really pretty.
Blanketflower is coming back. I now have two plants again in flower. The back alley is coming of age.
This purple coneflower is also in the alley. I spread its seeds around, so I should be getting more this year.
This is going to be an impressive display: the coralbean is covered with flower bud stalks.
Not a flower, but still interesting. This is devil's walking stick. I don't expect it will flower this year. Maybe next?
Not the prettiest as far as flowers, but this female yaupon is finishing up flowering and is starting to get little green fruit.
This trillium has also finished flowering. I was surprised to see another sprout just underneath the main one. I have no experience with these, so I can't say what's going on.
I can't remember what this is. I've been watching it grow for the last couple months, and it's just about to flower. I'm thinking it's going to be white, but who knows?
Update (Apr 20): It's cutleaf daisy (Engelmannia peristenia) and is yellow.
Not a flower, but I'm really intrigued by my new sensitive fern. I like the red with the new leaves and the drabness of the green.
And just when I thought I had taken all the pictures I wanted to, I was watering these little pots and noticed one partridgeberry is flowering.
There's more coming, but that's what it's bloom in my yard as of this morning.