Early spring bloomers for buffalo grass lawn
Around this time of year I start to think about buying a bunch of
bulbs to plant next month. Since most of the front yard is now buffalo
grass, it'd be nice to have something colorful popping up out of it in
the spring before it starts to green up. I would think an early bulb would have the best chance since it could do
its thing and store up energy for the following year before the buffalo
grass got going.
Seems like most of
the early spring bulbs, though, are exotic -- especially from the area
around the Caucasus Mountains. Ideally I'd like to plant some natives,
but most of the early flowers I know of are either shrubs or woodland
spring ephemerals like Mertensia virginica.
I suppose it's
because tallgrass prairie is too thick and tall to allow early spring
bloomers to get any sun. Out in the areas where they've done spring
burns, I've seen Nothoscordum bivalve, Viola pedata, Castilleja coccinea
and Lithospermum canescens, but these all seem to be available only as
seed that's fairly challenging to germinate and/or establish. I'm not sure any of them would last long in competition with buffalo grass.
Ultimately the natives are what I'd want -- even just a bunch of N. bivalve would suit me
just fine -- but I am thinking I might just go the easier route of
planting exotic bulbs: Iris reticulata, Crocus ancyrensis, Tulipa tarda, or Chionodoxa forbesii for the part shade areas.