What’s Global Warming to Lilacs?

Lilacs in bloom across northern states are a reliable marker of spring. The common lilac (Syringa vulgaris) is so predictable in the plant’s adjustment to seasonal conditions before it presents its spring bloom, that lilacs have been studied nationally since the 1970’s as a harbinger of spring. Here’s a photo from this spring of local mature lilac shrubs in bloom at Lewis & Clark Recreation Area near Yankton, South Dakota.

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Farmers and gardeners of this region especially recall the roller coaster weather challenges of this past spring. A plant hormonal defense to late frosts and other damages to new growth is a delayed start. By mid-May however, a bit later than some years, the lilacs presented their blossoms to the growing season.

Thing is, unsettled weather continued this growing season and into fall. Local Darlene Kunde noticed something quite unusual about these lilacs in September. These are photos from the state park lilacs in later September.

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What she saw and a professional explanation are found in this article that appeared in the Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper: https://www.yankton.net/river_city/article_17325b80-fc57-11e9-b60b-2793eda6092a.html?utm_medium=social&utm_source=email&utm_campaign=user-share

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