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Stars of Early Spring
Many plants wait for longer days before putting on spring growth. These early stars will bloom even with a touch of frost. Enjoy in early spring while you can; once the onslaught of summer returns, these delicacies will vanish.
Wisteria at SA Botanical Garden
Beware! Wisteria can strangle full-grown trees and pull the siding off a house. Don't plant it; instead, visit the San Antonio Botanical Garden. (The SABOT garden staff perform the work of keeping this Godzilla under control, leaving you time to grab lunch.)
Texas Mountain Laurel
Most are familiar with the sweet, mouthwatering scent of the Texas Mountain Laurel bloom. It's one of the first trees of the year to flower and considered a harbinger of the spring season.
In south-central Texas, snowdrops start blooming by the end of January. Other Texas-tough bulbs like daffodil, narcissus, and jonquil are not far behind.
Redbud blooms on bare branches -- before its leaves have even formed. The profusion of rose-colored flowers is a welcome sight in the cool, blue light of a spring morning.
Red buckeyes are a fairly common sight in a deciduous native woodland like Salado Creek, but they erupt with an intensity that might seem more appropriate to a summer perennial.
Peach and Peachbush
Peach trees and their relatives are in full bloom. The hedgelike peachbush (Prunus texana) is a native shrub, easily located by smell south and west of San Antonio.
Long strands of creamy white flowers encircle Mexican plum, billowing with a dizzying fragrance that attracts every pollinator around.
The tough, adaptable Mexican buckeye is equally at home in yards, creeks, or Hill Country hillsides. At first glance it can be easily mistaken for redbud, but it's shrubbier. The seed pods are a dead giveaway.
Quince grows slowly and flowers so early that its blooms are often blasted by freeze. So it's a treat to actually catch its scarlet display in progress. Enjoy it when you do -- it won't happen every year.
Since it's a well-behaved vine that rarely requires much attention, you might forget Carolina jessamine is even there... until March.