|Connect with Nature
Identifying and Reporting Your Findings
Start watching your plant closely in spring, checking for swelling flower buds. Determine the observation location of the plant — latitude and longitude — and note this on your data sheet. (The national PlantWatch Web site provides interactive mapping to help you determine your observation location.)
Record the date when your plant reaches first bloom. For most plants, first bloom is when the first flowers open, revealing the stamens inside. In some cases you will report when flowers have opened in three different places on your shrub or tree, or in three places within the patch of plants you are observing. Check to find out how to report for the species you have chosen. It is important to visit your plants at least every few days to catch the first day they bloom. If you are not sure when that has occurred, contact your regional co-ordinator for help.
Record any environmental details listed on your data sheet. This includes notes on weather, the plant's location and any other interesting information on insects or animals affecting the plant.
Record the date when your plant reaches mid-bloom. For tree species and lilac, report leafing dates as well.
Spend some time during spring and summer observing the plants in full leaf and bloom so you can easily recognize them and return to observe them early next spring!