live: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Gov. Stitt holds press conferencelive: Watch live: White House addresses coronavirus outbreakbreaking: Coronavirus in Oklahoma: Fired nurse sues Oklahoma City hospital for wrongful termination, claiming he was ordered not to wear mask

NewsOK: Oklahoma City News, Sports, Weather & Entertainment

Nature & You: Some wildflowers laugh at the ice and snow

American elm flowers aren't much to look at. [PHOTO BY W.D. BRUSH, USDA-NRCS PLANTS DATABASE]
American elm flowers aren't much to look at. [PHOTO BY W.D. BRUSH, USDA-NRCS PLANTS DATABASE]

Heads up! I want to alert you to be on the lookout for wildflowers. Not in the month of April, mind you. Instead, there is a multitude of wildflowers out there in the natural world right this very instant. Keep an eye peeled for these little gems within very close proximity to your home and neighborhood.

I did not say that it is going to be easy. What will be required of you is to be diligent and to pay particular attention to teeny, tiny details. These wildflowers are minuscule in size. It is oh so easy to scoot right past them without them gaining your attention.

Of what I speak are the flowers of a native Oklahoma tree: The American elm. These blossoms are wind-pollinated; there is no need for big, showy flower petals. No insect-luring perfume is present in these tree flowers.

Each and every year, I rock back on my heels in shock when I discover that the previous night's ice storm has coated the tree flowers with this life-killing substance. Not to worry, however, because these native wildflowers are "cast iron" objects that are concerned not one whit about the ravages of mid-winter's fury. The ice and snow does not cause any damage to these native wildflowers.

What a trooper! It is yet one more example of how native plants laugh off the peculiarities of Oklahoma's brutal weather extremes. Let's pin a military battle ribbon on this plant's chest.

Neil Garrison

Neil Garrison is an outdoor nature enthusiast. He is a graduate of Oklahoma State University/Stillwater; he earned a B.S. degree in Wildlife Ecology. Prior to his 2009 retirement, he was the Naturalist at a central Oklahoma nature center for 30... Read more ›

Comments