Spring fun facts presented by the Horticulture and Forestry team

Cornelian Cherry buds

The Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy’s Horticulture and Forestry team has some fascinating fun facts to share with you! Get ready to learn about all things Spring! 


The first daffodils to bloom in our area is the cultivar 'Tete-a-Tete,' which is a sweet miniature daffodil! Daffodils are a spring flower that deer and critters don't eat, unlike tulips, which all the animals love to munch on. 

Remember, it's best to leave up daffodil foliage after they bloom and until it turns yellow so it can continue to photosynthesize and collect energy to store for next year. Deadhead the spent blooms to clean up the plant, conserve energy, and maybe even get more flowers with some cultivars. 

Yellow daffodil


Many spring-blooming trees produce flowers before their leaves come out, such as serviceberry, apple, and redbuds. 

Red maple buds


Some tulips are more reliable perennials than the traditional hybridized tulips, a popular variety being 'Lady Jane.' Though it may be subject to critter damage, it is well worth this unique plant's risk. The standard wild violet, which is often seen as a nuisance and weed, is a food source of pollinators, most especially a range of butterflies called fritillaries and a specialist mining bee.


Many spring bulbs, such as Scilla, Chinodoxia, Squill, and Winter Aconite, can be planted in both turf areas and garden spaces, and in many cases, can complete their blooming cycles by the time grass is tall enough and in need of mowing. 


Annual plants are essential for sustainability, too. The quick seeding habits of annual wildflowers help to combat aggressive weeds and invasive plants where there is exposed soil. In contrast, root systems' annual growth and senescence introduce fresh organic material that helps sustain decomposers below the soil surface. 

Photos taken by Maggie Herrick, Restoration Gardener.