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Roadsides Showing Off First Signs Of Spring, Daffodils

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Roadsides Showing Off First Signs Of Spring, Daffodils

Roadsides through the Upper Cumberland are showing off the first sings of spring as daffodils among the first flowers to bloom.

Warren County Agriculture Extension Agent Heath Nokes said the annual warm-season wildflowers have unique life cycle. He said like tulips and buttercups, daffodils are grown from bulbs. He said once the soil temperature reaches some 50 degrees, the bulbs will begin to spout.

“It’s got all that stored energy stored in that bulb and it just shoots on up,” Nokes said. “And the rest of our flowers and grasses and trees and everything else, you know, follow suit.”

Nokes said Tennessee’s climate sits right in a sweet spot that allows the vibrant yellow petals to show themselves just a short time after the snow has melted. He said we can expect to see them popping up.

“We’re talking about the different growth zones,” Nokes said. “A huge, diverse array of plants grow and thrive well here.”

Nokes said the Upper Cumberland has a booming nursery industry thanks to the assortment of flowers that can flourish in our climate. He said daffodils would not have a lifespan like they have here if they were planted just a few hundred miles north of south.

“These are plants that take one year to grow and reproduce,” Nokes said. “It’s easiest to think of a plant like corn. You plant a garden, plant a kernel of corn, and it grows, produces stalk, leaves, and reproduces all in one year.”

He said the daffodils have a limited affect on the surrounding plants in their ecosystem. He said to most people, they are lovely blossoms that liven up the landscape, but as wildflowers, they often inhabit land where they were not planted intentionally, and some might not want them sprouting on their property every year.

“It’s kind of like the old textbook definition of ‘What is a weed? It’s a plant growing anywhere you don’t want it,’” Nokes said.

He said rose buds, azaleas, and peonies are among the most prominent flowers that will follow the daffodils around April.


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