Forest lilac spring

Submitted by Looduskalender EN on Sat, 14.04.2018 - 14:36

Photo Arne Ader
Translation Liis

Estonian text posted 13.04.2018





Mezereon; Daphne        Harilik näsiniin         Daphne mezereum



Before the trees come into leaf, a  sparsely branched low shrub flowers in the still sunny ground layers of the bare mixed forests, sometimes even with only one branch with lilac flowers – the mezereon.

The plant prefers chalk-rich habitats, even mildly fresh but fertile soils – for instance sunny underwoods under hazels.

The mezereon occurs in the whole of Estonia but we never find it in great numbers anywhere.

Its flowers remind somewhat of lilac flowers, in colour and a little also in shape. The flowers are attached to the twig in groups of three up to five; they are very strongly fragrant which helps to attract the  few early spring pollinators.

At the flowering time oblanceolate leaves begin to develop in the tip of the shoots (see in Arne’s photo).

Beautiful to  look at but note that all parts of the mezereon are strongly poisonous to humans . 

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