Not all of spring's flowers are found on the ground. Many of the Chesapeake's trees are breaking out in blossoms, and if one knows where to look, he or she will see them. Here are spring-flowering trees in the watershed. Can you match them with their descriptions? Answers are on page 20.

Bigtooth Aspen
Black Walnut
Flowering Dogwood
Mountain Laurel
Virginia Stewartia

1. The showy flowers of this small tree or shrub are around 4 inches in diameter. The cup-shaped blossoms are purple in the center with five yellow or white petals that are silky to the touch. They are found in late spring or summer growing near the tip of the tree's twig.

2. The male flowers of this tree form dense, reddish to yellow spherical clusters (about 0.3–0.4 inches) that hang from short stalks growing from one of the previous year's branchlets. The female flowers form slightly larger (0.4–0.6 inch) dense greenish red spherical clusters that grow on short stalks found on older branchlets.

3. The yellowish green male flowers of this tree grow on hanging 2–4 inch catkins. The female flowers consist of two to five short upright spikes at the end of new branchlets.

4. The male and female flowers are both 1.5–2.5 inch brown catkins, but grow on separate trees.

5. Many people think that the large showy white bracts (a specialized leaf found at the bottom of a flower) make up this tree's blossom. Actually, the tree's tiny yellowish green flowers grow in a dense packed head at the center of these bracts.

6. The half-inch light pink to purplish flowers of this tree grow in clusters of four to eight hanging from a stalk growing from older branchlets.

7. Chionanthus, the genus name for this small tree, means "snowy flower" and is an apt description for the fragrant, white flowers with 4– to 6-inch narrow petals hanging loosely in airy clusters.

8. This small tree has saucer-shaped five-lobed pink or white, purple-lined flowers that grow in round clusters on long stalks covered with sticky hairs. The stamens have a spring-like structure that releases pollen when tripped by a bee.

9. This tree gets its name from its green flowers, which are orange at the bottom and shaped like a deep cup. They are found at the crown of this very tall tree, and are more often noticed after they have fallen to the ground.


1. Virginia Stewertia
2. Sycamore
3. Black Walnut
4. Bigtooth Aspen
5. Flowering Dogwood
6. Redbud
7. Fringetree
8. Mountain Laurel
9. Tuliptree