March was the warmest month ever recorded in the U.S, according to the National Weather Service [ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/]. Here in the northeast, we saw daffodils, tulips and other colorful banners that signal spring start to unfurl a few weeks earlier than usual.
But even though average temperatures were breaking records, the early flowering wasn't extreme or unusual, says Robert Naczi, Curator of North American Botany at the New York Botanical Garden.
"It's certainly well within the realm of experience for the species native to this area," he says. Still, Naczi says that studies do show that flowers and other plants are blooming earlier and earlier on average because of overall warming trends.
Science journalist Naomi Lubick and Francesco Fiondella interviewed Naczi about early blooms and their implications during a recent trip to the NYBG.