Welcome to YOUR Portland Neighborhood Community

Portland's Native Plants Spring to Life

Remember all that sun we had recently?  Wasn't that amazing?  I wonder if we'll feel that kind of warmth on our shoulders again before, I don't know... June?  I sure hope so, because I've got a bad case of Spring Fever!

This past weekend, I tried to soak up as many of those precious rays as I could.  So while millions were watching Superbowl XLVI, I was out puttering around the yard, doing whatever I could find to keep me outside a little longer.  I did some weeding, a little pruning, and some removal of last year's dead growth.  I was somewhat surprised to see just how much some of my native plants had also noticed the warmth.

This is my Indian Plum, or Osoberry (Oemleria cerasiformis).  It's a large native shrub, and one of our earliest bloomers.  An important early nectar source for all those Mason Bees and other native pollinators.

The female plants produce small purple berries that look like tiny plums, but to get the berries, you'll need both a male and a female plant.  I only have one of these right now, and I believe it's a male.  I'm going to be adding two more Indian Plum starts to a reclaimed parking strip this spring, so I'm hoping to end up with fruit for the local birds.

These racemes produce small white flowers that some say smell unpleasant.  I personally think they smell kind of nice and woodsy.

I think it's interesting that the racemes turn so drastically downward after emerging.  Seeing one full of flowers you might think it was the weight that pulled it down, but that's not the case.  They turn downwards almost immediately.  Maybe to make room for the lance shaped leaves to emerge upwards?  Maybe for pollinator access?  I don't know, but there must be a reason.

Because I do think the flowers smell fine, I brought a couple of stems inside and placed them in water, after trimming them away from the house.  Three days later and I have instant Spring!

My Indian Plum has been in the ground for about 3 years, and it's about 10 feet tall right now.  I just trim it gently, after flowering, to keep it away from the house and path.  I've read that you can trim these down to the ground to reclaim an overgrown specimen.

This is a bud just opening on one of my Red-flowering Currants.  One of the showiest blooms in my yard full of native species.

OK - these last two plants are not native species.  Two of the very few non-native plants in my yard.

Sprouting up through the mulch, these Stella D'Oro daylilies look like little green fingers pointing toward the sun in the southern sky.

This last one is a Persian Ironwood tree, Parrotia Persica "Vanessa".  (Also called Vanessa Persian Witchhazel.)

  I chose the Persian Ironwood from Friends of Trees because - although it's not native - established trees, are drought, cold, and insect resistant.  They also have beautiful fall color and these lovely little blood-red flowers.  The flowers remind me of clover flowers in shape and size.

 I wanted to include this photo not only because the tree is blooming, but because the picture shows that amazing blue sky we were enjoying.

Those are the major signs of spring in my yard, what native plants are blooming in your neck of the woods?

I'm looking forward to spring, and to my parking strip planting project.  Hopefully we do get some more of that sun and brilliant blue sky before June, but I shouldn't complain about the clouds and rain.  Without them, Portland and western Oregon wouldn't be so beautiful and green, would they?

Views: 40


You need to be a member of PortlandNeighborhood.com to add comments!

Join PortlandNeighborhood.com

Latest Activity

Karin Kaufmann posted an event

Artistic Portland Celebrates Five Year Anniversary During Month of June 2018 at Artistic Portland

June 1, 2018 from 10am to 8pm
The Art Co-operative will have a month-long celebration beginning at the First Thursday Art Walk between 4-6 p.m. on June 7, 2018.  Five years ago June 1 a group of local artists opened their doors in the Hollywood District to sell their art to the public.  Two years later the Art Co-operative expanded by moving downtown to a larger space with more artists.  Celebrating that five year milestone the Co-op will be holding a drawing on Saturday, June 30, with many of the member artists donating…See More
Lauren Dabb posted events
May 14
Jessica Hansen posted an event

AmplifyHer PDX at Jubilee Collective

May 19, 2018 from 6pm to 7pm
This is networking like no other!!!! This is a movement that is going global. We are equipping women with tools to take their powerhouse messages to purpose-driven movements.We are on a mission to AMPLIFY YOU to expand your reach, increase YOUR VOICE and to STAND ON YOUR STORY!Don't walk alone, we are encouraging every woman to reach one and bring one!Register at …See More
May 11
Profile IconBarbara Richardson, Zahlee George, John Newton and 119 more joined PortlandNeighborhood.com
May 11
Portland Center Stage posted an event

JAW: A Playwrights Festival, July 27-29 at Portland Center Stage at the Armory

July 27, 2018 to July 29, 2018
JAW: A Playwrights Festival, July 27-29Portland Center Stage at The Armory proudly presents its 20th year of championing new plays and bringing invigorating theater to Portland with its JAW: A Playwrights Festival. Each summer, JAW welcomes a handful of playwrights to Portland — whose scripts have been selected from hundreds of submissions — to spend two weeks collaborating with directors, dramaturgs, actors, and other theater professionals to develop their plays in a supportive environment…See More
May 8
Imago Theatre posted events
May 3
Amanda posted an event

Restaurants for Raphael House at At 45+ participating eateries throughout Portland, Lake Oswego, and Beaverton

May 16, 2018 all day
Dine out for a cause on Wednesday, May 16th and support Raphael House of Portland’s life-saving domestic violence shelter and prevention programs! More than 45 local restaurants have pledged a portion of their day’s proceeds to help adults and children escaping partner violence. You can make a difference simply by enjoying a meal – or several – at any participating eatery in Portland, Lake Oswego, and Beaverton. A full and growing list of involved restaurants can be found online at…See More
May 3
Willamette Women Democrats posted an event

David Sarasohn: The Media in the Age of Trump at Celebrate Conference Center

May 10, 2018 from 4pm to 6pm
For our final program of the season we are delighted to host David Sarasohn, renowned Oregonian columnist, as our speaker.In the Age of Trump, the media is under unprecedented attack; accused of spreading “fake news” while swimming in a sea of propaganda distributed by numerous shady forces. David will provide his perspective on today’s news business and how it is standing up to the president.David Sarasohn made fun of politicians for The Oregonian from 1983 to 2013. In 2008, Sarasohn was a…See More
Apr 30



Powell's Books Picks

© 2018   Created by Lorri E..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service