Meet the Natives: Winter Bloomers
Adding color to your landscape in the dry winter season can be a challenge, so here are a few native plants that add color and fragrance to your landscape in the early winter months. Sweet acacia (Vachellia farnesiana var. farnesiana) is a small, shrubby tree that tops out at 15-20 feet tall. Puffball-like yellow flowers are so fragrant that they are used in perfume. In addition to its sweet fragrance, the flowers are a great nectar source for pollinators while birds take cover in the tree. Climbing aster (Symphyotrichum carolinianum) is a woody vine that is very showy this time of year with its many, lavender to light purple flowers. These fragrant flowers are also another great nectar source for pollinators. Saffron plum (Sideroxylon celastrinum) is a small tree that generously emits fragrance this time of the year. It’s one you may catch wafting along island bike paths but don’t know where it’s coming from. Its small white flowers can be quite showy when the plant is in full bloom. Following the flowers, it produces small dark fruits which are edible, and birds like them as well. All three of these species do best in moist soils but can do well in drier conditions.