Flowers usher in spring on campus


Chloe Gross, Staff Writer

Spring has sprung on the University of New Hampshire (UNH) campus! The arrival of April has accompanied the final melting of snow-piles and the budding of trees. Various green stems are poking through the ground, indicating the start to a new growing season. 

Crocuses are the classic flower to usher in warmer weather. Often seen poking three to four inches high through melting snow, these purple, yellow or white cup-shaped flowers are delicate and delightful to the eye. Crocuses are perennial bulbs, meaning that they survive cold winters and should be planted in the fall for spring blooms. Thompson Hall sported some of these yellow and purple eye-catchers early this month. 

Another purple perennial seen in grass lawns as carpets and as small groups in mulch gardens near Putnam, Barton and Cole Halls are the Glory of the Snow flowers. They too are small, but stem in clumps with multiple blooms per bulb. These tiny flowers have six individual petals that start out white and, in an ombre fashion, turn indigo as the petals arch back away from the yellow stamen tri-pronged stamen. 

Across campus, a forsythia shrub is starting to open its buds to reveal bright yellow four-petaled flowers. The whole bush, from base to branch tip, will sport blooms so yellow that will put a spring in your step. Speedy spreaders, forsythias will not hesitate to spread their sunny branches year after year. One such bush lives outside of Handler. Who knows, maybe it will have grown into the sidewalk before the class of 2026 graduates!

Last but certainly not least, are the dandelions. Often considered a weed, dandelions are resilient flowers with an entirely edible form. These yellow fuzz balls rival forsythias in their yellow pigmentation, but unlike a sprawling bush, dandelions dot UNH’s green spaces. Currently spotted near Philly, keep an eye out for promising vertically striped green buds. Dandelions flower throughout the summer but check out Library Hill in a few weeks before Facilities start mowing: dandelion crowns beg to be made! 

Stay tuned for part two; April is only the beginning of the spring flowering season. Tulip leaves, various varieties of lilies have sprouted in chartreuse clumps and azalea shrubs are waiting to burst. Lilacs of many shades are sending nutrients from the roots to the shoots in preparation for a late-spring show. This is just the start!