Ragged-Robin (Lychnis flos-cuculi)
I mark the passing of the seasons by the wildflowers blooming along our roadside and the appearance of the first Ragged-Robin is always bittersweet for me. Ragged-Robin blooms here at the start of haying season which means the euphoria of spring and the first burst of growth is over and our thoughts have moved to stockpiling food for the less kind months.
When we moved here thirty-four years ago Ragged-Robin began appearing in the ditches towards the end of June which coincided with haying season at the time. But the fields are being mowed earlier and earlier now, sometimes starting as early as the beginning of June. So much for climate change deniers!
Ragged-Robin is a native to Europe and is found along roads and wet meadows there. It has become naturalized here in eastern Canada and certainly shows the potential for being quite invasive. I first noticed it growing in the ditches but since then it has moved into all of the pastures and blooms alongside the buttercups, another invasive plant.
There is a lot of plant growth still to happen and a new season to greet, but spring with all of its promise is passing. The wheel is turning, summer approaches. At least Ragged-Robin announces the approach of the new season with flare.