If I go back in time, the first blue flower to bloom is Hepatica, often blooming in January in my yard. The leaves are evergreen and, as long as they aren't covered by fallen leaves, they provide a welcome reminder that the woods are alive. Fresh new leaves emerge after the blooms are gone, often with intricate patterns dappling the surface.
|Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa|
Next to bloom are the Bluets - tiny blooms that often gather in enough quantities so that you can spot them. We find several species of Houstonia in North Georgia, but Houstonia caerulea is the early spring bloomer. I sometimes see it peeking through blades of grass in lawns - what a cheerful addition!
Viola bicolor has dissected leaves, not unlike the Bird's Foot violet, but a very shallow root system so it is easily pulled out when unwanted. Unwanted it may be but the flower is still quite lovely.
Next to bloom is the Woodland Phlox (Phlox divaricata) which can be softly fragrant as well as beautiful. Nurseries are propagating cultivars of this plant these days - I have seen 'Chattahoochee' for sale at local native plant sales. This is sometimes called Wild Sweet William.
And just when you thought I could not find any more blue flowers, I bring you Scorpion-weed! Phacelia bipinnatifida is a bit of a wanderer and you may regret having it in your yard, but certainly not while it is blooming! What a gorgeous clump of blue it makes. I have seen this plant mixing beautifully with red Columbine (Aquilegia canadensis) in North Georgia along mossy streambanks. I don't know how this got its common name, but it is certainly a weed that I would share with my friends.