Wildflowers Of May*
The month of May has many highlights in the blooming department. Many are native to our area, including Spiderwort, Tradescantia virginiana. This is a bit of an overexuberant self sower, but the blue and sometimes purple flowers add spice to the shady areas.
Blue eyed grass, Sisyringium montanum a passalong from our mailman Claude is the sweetest of flowers. It does not spread at all except with division by the gardener. Claude is now retired, but his gifts for the garden are a constant reminder of our friendship. I do hope he is now spending all day every day in his own beloved garden. I know that was his plan.
Most of the wild geraniums here other than G. maculatum have insignificant flowers. That is my index finger holding this still for the photo shoot to give you some perspective of size of the bloom on Geranium carolinianum. Most have whitish to very light pink flowers, but a couple of spots in the Fairegarden hold colonies of this darker bloom.
It is not the flowers that are prized of these geraniums, but rather the later leaf color and seedpod. The common name of Cranesbill comes from the shape of the black seeds, quite artistic. The red leaf plant is Lysimachia ciliata, a thug but useful in hard to grow places.
Not really a wildflower but a native nonetheless is the
Southern Northern Maidenhair Fern, Adiatum pedatum. (Thanks Sandra for the correct identification!) It has outlived most all of the other plantings in the first hypertufa trough that was made several years ago. In fact, it has increased in size to have taken over nearly the entire growing area, which is fine by us.
Last year several Culver’s Root, Veronicastrum virginicum plants were added after noticing that our favorite local nursery Mouse Creek had them. This was a plant used extensively in gardens as seen in the books and articles written by and about Dutch plantsman and designer Piet Oudolf. I was hoping for a more upright plant, but the bud formation is intriguing. Stakes are at the ready.
Oakleaf Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Alison’ has grown by leaps and bounds. ‘Alison’ grows 8′- 10′ high and is a clone discovered and named about the same time as ‘Alice’. It is also broader spreading than ‘Alice’. Found by Michael A. Dirr, on the Geogia campus and named after Alison Arnold, one of his master of science students. It is going to be a banner year for all the hydrangeas from the looks of the bud formations, some have never ever bloomed, always zapped by late frosts and/or drought.
The naturally occuring Ox Eye Daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare is blooming in abundance. Most get pulled, for it can smother less vigorous neighbors and self sows rampantly, but we love the cottage look it gives and it is nearly indestructible.
Another wildflower that has popped up everywhere is some type of Euphorbia. It has yellow blooms and green leaves. I know this photo doesn’t give a clear enough image for identification, but I love the vibe of it.
We wish to thank dear friend and fellow traveler Gail of Clay And Limestone for hosting Wildflower Wednesday, the fourth Wednesday of each month.