While Early Bloom Brings Joy, the Presence May Signal “A Cascading Effect” (TimeOut New York)
In Madison Square Park and other green spaces in New York City, plants such as the witch hazel collection are reaching their peak bloom earlier then ever before. While parkgoers may be enthused by the arrival of Spring, experts have concerns. Stephanie Lucas, Madison Square Park Conservancy’s Director of Horticulture and Park Operations, notes that mismatching patterns and cycles in plant development are impacting more than just the flora, it’s creating “a cascading effect” on the whole environment.
“Plants depend on these temperature signals to say, ‘Hey, winter is over. Winter came, period,'” Lucas, tells Time Out. “Plants that are out in the natural environment that have been there for decades… get confused by these changes in temperatures.”
Lucas explains: Imagine you’re a bear and you just woke up from hibernation. You go to get some honey, and it should be there as it’s always been. But the bees couldn’t make it because they need a particular flower; that flower bloomed two weeks early and the blooms are now gone.