The changing fall leaves aren’t the only ways nature is adding more color to the fall months.
On November 7th, I spotted these irises.
I was amazed to find them blooming this late in the year. I have also been finding azaleas, roses, and white and pink camelias in partial or full flower.
Even the hydrangeas in my front yard are sporting blossoms, and I’ve never seen them do that in November.
So, I set out to find out how unusual this phenomenon is.
And what I learned: Spring-like flowers in the fall might be more common than we realize. Yale Climate Connections reported in 2020 that some plant and tree varieties do rebloom when conditions are right, and I found in my research that some hydrangea and iris varieties are among them. The “Diamond Blush” iris can bloom until frost.
In other cases, stressors such as abnormally dry conditions are a possible trigger. DC certainly checks that box this year, but it’s not clear why drought or near-drought produces this particular stress response.
There are steps we can take to protect plants and trees from the stresses of climate change, and one is to use mulch to help the soil retain moisture and regulate its temperature. One expert cited in the Yale Climate article recommends using leaves – which, as we know, are a plentiful and free resource.
Let’s at least enjoy the blooms while we have them. Here are more from around the neighborhood.
What are you seeing?