April is a month of renewal and rejuvenation. Nowhere is that more evident than in the fields and woods around Kenosha.
As the temperatures rise, and the sun shines brighter, the earth awakens from its winter slumber, and plants burst forth in a riot of color and scent.
Many of the first flowers to emerge during April are bulb flowers, such as the crocus, which appear and disappear quickly, giving way to other early bloomers like Siberian squill. While not native to Wisconsin, the Siberian squill is a hardy member of the lily family and is one of the first spring-flowering bulbs to brighten the landscape in early spring. Its bluebell-like flowers, with six petals and six stamens, are a welcome sight after a long winter.
Another early bloomer is the bloodroot, a delicate-looking flower that starts to bloom before its foliage unfolds in early spring. Despite its delicate appearance, the bloodroot is potentially toxic to humans and horses and should be left alone if found in the woods.
The trout lily is another spring ephemeral flower that is native to North America and is often found in large groups on the forest floor. Its leaves are easily recognizable because they are mottled green and brown, just like the markings on brook trout.
Other Wisconsin wildflowers to watch for in April include trillium, snowdrops, Jacob’s ladders, Dutchman’s breeches, cut leaf toothwort, and Virginia bluebells. These spring ephemerals are perennial plants that emerge quickly in the spring and die back to their underground parts after a short growth and reproduction phase. The word ephemeral means transitory or quickly fading.
While these early-blooming wildflowers are a highlight of the season, flowering trees also burst into bloom around the county. Pink, white and yellow magnolias are among the types that can be found in the area, providing a beautiful contrast to the greens and browns of the emerging leaves.
One of the best places to see April flowers in Kenosha is the Kemper Center, where the Siberian scillas bloom in purple and green on the grounds in front of the building. These non-native plants have adapted well to deciduous woodlands and are a stunning addition to the landscape.
As we enjoy the beauty of April flowers, it’s important to remember that some of these plants can be invasive and potentially harmful. It’s important to leave wildflowers alone when found in the woods and not touch or pick them up, as some can cause rashes or other adverse reactions.
April is a time of great beauty and renewal in Kenosha. The emergence of spring ephemerals and the blooming of flowering trees signal the start of a new growing season, and we are fortunate to live in a place where we can witness the miracle of nature up close. Whether we are walking in the woods, picnicking in the park, or simply enjoying the view from our window, April flowers are a reminder of the beauty and resilience of life.