Flower Envelopes – Petals Before they Open

It is spring here in Alberta. Microclimates are a big deal in our part of the world. If we lived in the concrete moderated environment of the city, the lilacs would already be blooming!


But out here on the prairie, lilacs are barely leafed out, and the earliest tulips have just unfolded the envelope of their outer leaves.


The pasque flower, or prairie crocus escaped its downy covering weeks ago. Such an early start on the season means it has been subjected to many nights of icy frost.


The ornamental allium is a week or two away from forming big purple balls that stand well above any other flowers that bloom about the same time. When I bought the initial bulbs ($2.99 for 3 of them) the pretty package said they were called Purple Sensation and that they would be 36 inches tall and have flowers the size of baseballs. It was an accurate prediction. What the package didn’t say, which I should have suspected as they are a relative of chives, is that the flowers produce hundreds of seeds – which are scattered by methods unseen – to all the flower beds in the yard. I now have hundreds of them.


The little Iceland Poppies have been blooming for over a week, but the big orange oriental poppies (in this photo from last year) are not even at bud stage yet.


The peonies are also also still weeks from forming buds, but this photo from last season is a good example of how this plant produces dark green envelopes that split open to reveal the tightly bound petals inside.

No matter how much you push the envelope, it will still be stationery.
– Author Unknown –

What do you think of when you think of an ‘envelope’? What is blooming where you live?

12 thoughts on “Flower Envelopes – Petals Before they Open

  1. Wow, these buds, when viewed so up close, look like something alien! Beautiful, but definitely alien!! 🙂


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