Cold Stratification

All of the gardeners out there know about cold stratification that some seeds need to germinate. Well, hopefully today’s weather helped them along because it seemed a bit cold today. 😉 So it was on my third walk today, when this topic crossed my mind as I walked with my head down in the wind. I thought about what Kathy had told me last month that her peach trees needed a certain amount of cold weather. Some of our favorite native plants require cold weather too such as milkweeds (Asclepias), bluebonnets (Lupinus), perennial sunflowers (Helianthus) to name a few.

Yesterday though was not one of those days. All that Jeanne and I required were two layers and a jacket. At first I wasn’t going to even take the jacket, but I remembered the meteorologists forecast. A northeast wind would be blowing in later. And it did at the end. 🙂

Here in the open on this unit at LBJ grasslands it looked a little bleak some might think.
However if you look closely you will find treasures that thrive in the winter. A winter plant that brings hope that spring will arrive soon. The small Spring Beauty (Claytonia virginica) is one such plant! Furthermore when it does get later it will once again hide the rest of the year from our view.

The Psora lichen hides among the growth of last season and the new growth of the upcoming season!
An upside down Earthstar (Geastrum species) caught my eye in the short vegetation which includes Rabbit’s Tobacco (Diaperia prolifera) and other new growth.

This particular one sat on a very short pedestal.

Another white object caught my attention. A spur-throated grasshopper bleached. It was hard to tell what was the cause of its demise but it certainly was not food for a Loggerhead Shrike.

Another new colorful growth! I leaned towards a Square-bud Primrose (Calylophus berlandieri) because of the stem not shown here. Perhaps one of you know for certain? Update: Suzanne came up with a better choice, Missouri Primrose (Oenothera macrocarpa). She has one just sprouting up. Thanks Suzanne!

So as hopefully you can see the prairie was not as bleak as you may have thought in the winter. And additionally since a burn or the grazing had kept the vegetation short it was easier to find these treasures. 🙂

One more thing…the cold stratification inspired me to make a cup of hot chocolate when I got home from the third walk. LOL.

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know


  1. I also had a cup of hot chocolate today. Still wonder about the name rabbits tobacco. That psora lichen sure is pretty.

    1. Good point. I actually thought about that thinking maybe when it was young it might not. So it will remain a mystery. 🙂 For now. 😊

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