Engaging Spring Ephemerals

Spring ephemerals are mostly perennial wildflowers that appear when the weather warms up, soaking up the sun before the trees and other plants have a chance to leaf out.  They grow rapidly, bloom and then go dormant, all in a period of six to eight weeks. I personally find them a welcome sight for sore eyes.

Spring Emphemerals

Anemone blanda ~ spring ephemerals ~ gardenmatter.com

We are only the second family to live in my home, which was built in the 1980s. It’s located in a typical suburban plan which means, that, ten years ago when we moved in, there were a lot of basic foundation plantings, mature trees and shrubs. The family before us also had planted bulbs and some nice ground cover. One of the plants I find each spring, which I really don’t know whether someone planted or whether it just showed up, is Anemone blanda, commonly known as Grecian windflower.


So this past week when it was finally warm enough for me to take my garden walk, as I often do when I get home from my day job, I came across the Grecian windflower, which always seems to surprise me and make me smile.  You see, this little beauty is a spring ephemeral, which means it shows up like a friendly party guest, blooms its head off and retreats until next year. It happens so fast that I forget it was even there.

Below are some photos of a few well-known spring ephemerals that can be found here in Pennsylvania:  Mertensia virginica or Virginia bluebells,  Trillium grandiflorum and Dicentra cucullaria  or Dutchman’s breeches.

Virginia Bluebells ~ spring ephemerals ~ gardenmatter.com

Virginia Bluebells

Trillium ~ spring ephemerals ~ gardenmatter.com


Duthman's Breeches ~ spring ephemerals ~ gardenmatter.com

Duthman’s Breeches


Learn about some garden beauties called spring ephemerals which show up very early in the season every year but disappear all too quickly.





About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Hearth and Vine, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Mary Ann says:

    I have this exact flower at 7 springs. I bought it because I liked the flowers but didn’t realize the short bloom span. It’s such a lovely plant in bloom just wish it would last longer. Thanks for enlightening me about this

    • That’s great Mary Ann. You probably have many in the woods at seven springs area. I believe Laurie was the first one to introduce me to Trillium native to thus area but I’m not sure that we are allowed to harvest them.


  1. […] nothing like those first early blooms in the garden. Patti, from Garden Matters shares three of her […]

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