Quick, quick…

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… don’t hesitate! Work hard, grow, flower, do your business and make sure you finish it! Before it is too late…

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For many early spring flowers, that is what life is all about. Especially those living it in the forest understory. They have to profit from the first warm sunshine of spring before the trees start growing their leaves and the forest floor gets covered in shadows again.

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It is only a tiny time window they have, between the last bitter frosts and the true onset of spring. That is why they have to rely on reserves, which they saved from the previous year in storage parts below ground. It gives their short lives an impressive aura of dedication: they have everything ready for a flashing quick start, which happens as soon as weather starts improving. Then they use these reserves to grow, mature, create flowers and make sure their posterity is insured. And then, it is time for refilling the energy savings in the belowground parts, and quickly back to bed again, before the rest of the world slowly managed to get up.

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A remarkable strategy, and the perfect example of an ecological concept called the temporal niche: species sharing the same space, yet living in different moments of time, as such reducing their competition and living together in harmony.

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