Photo Credit: Bob Glennon
Caption: Plants at Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge are
coming out of their winter dormancy early this year. Unseasonably warm weather is probably part of the reason. Leaves are emerging
one to two months earlier than usual. One of the early-sprouting plants is elderberry (Sambucus americanus) (top photo). It has compound leaves arranged opposite each other along the woody stems. It will bloom in May and the fruit will be ripe in July. Swamp rose (Rosa palustris) (bottom photo) also has compound leaves, but they are arranged alternatively on the woody stems. The flowers bloom in June, the fruit ripens in October, but it persists on the plant through the winter until birds eat it.
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of nine national wildlife refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Pocosin Lakes Visitor Center, located in Columbia, NC, is open 9am to 4pm whenever volunteer staffing is available.