Wild Violets in December?

Asked December 16, 2015, 5:53 PM EST

A friend spotted wild violets (I think) outside this week. How rare is this for this time of year? Thanks, :Dan

Hennepin County Minnesota

1 Response

Here in Minnesota, this is unusual - for the last few thousand years anyway. We've seen warmer than "normal" temps many times over the last few millennia,
but these warm winters seem to be increasingly common (temperatures don't show a straight rise, but an average increase over decades).
At the same time, this is indeed, an unusual year. We are getting reports of spring bulbs starting to grow, fruit trees starting to bud, and woodland plants growing again. The effects of the 2015-16 El Nino, on top of the gradual changes of climate warming are are evident in these unseasonably occurrences.
Most all plants will be able to survive these untimely early emergences but the long-term prospects are concerning. It is anticipated that many of the plants (including agricultural stand-bys) that we are familiar with will gradually be displaced by plants that can withstand warm winters, and dry summers.

Thanks for your question. Please contact AaE again if you have further questions.