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A project of the Chicago Botanic Garden


March EcoQuest


Search for signs of Spring

American pussy willow, Salix discolor, can be found blooming this month. With silver-gray, fuzzy catkins appearing before leaves emerge. Another identifying feature is its dark-gray bark.

Native across the US, this shrub or small tree can be found in marshy areas, stream banks, and other low ground places. It is especially important for wildlife early in the season and attracts butterflies and native bees.

Help Budburst find this important Chicagoland native species!

Beat back buttercups

Help Budburst find these invasive plants so they can be better controlled!

Fig buttercup, Ficaria verna, was introduced in the US as an ornamental plant. It is common in wet floodplains and other marshy areas. It has dark green, kidney-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers.

It poses a threat to native spring flowering plants, emerging quickly and forming a dense blanket blocking assess to light.

How to observe and report


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Make your observation by taking a photo of your subject


Upload your observation to our database via the Budburst mobile or desktop app

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