Hunting down the wildflowers for Gail’s Wildflower Wednesday meme is always enjoyable. The main problem is determining which ones are natives. The last deciduous azalea to bloom here, Rhododendron prunifolium is right on schedule, late July. This shrub was purchased a couple of years ago at the University of Tennessee Bloom Day festival, in bloom around the end of July. The leaves are a more chartruese color which sets off the red orange flowers nicely. It is a native.
New to the garden last fall, from Arrowhead Alpines are three little Verbena stricta plants. As these small specimens grow and mature through the seasons, more height and girth are expected. For now, all we are looking for is alive, flowers are gravy. Natives.
By far the longest blooming period for any wildflowers here belongs to the ox eye daisy, Leucanthemum vulgare. Some of the petals are showing this curly characteristic. Nice natives! Added: These are native all right, but to the UK, not the US! I still like them, though.
Common and easy, good descriptions of how wildflowers should be, apply to Gaillardia x grandiflora. The bright colors stand up to the intense summer sun and lack of rainfall without blinking. There is a tiny little plant with ball like flowers mixed in, does anyone know what it might be? Is it a native?
July sees the beginnings of the Big Guy bloomings. Even though the florets are not fully open, the Joe Pye, Eupatorium purpureum subsp. maculatum ‘Gateway’ gives a stunning performance back in the old Ferngully area. The heads are huge, the plants are tall and the pollinators are waiting at that gate to begin feasting once the petals peel back to reveal the goodness inside. Natives.
Unfortunately named Sneezeweed, Helenium autumnale is just beginning to bloom. Started from a mixed packet of seeds last year, several colorways of reds and yellows were a pleasant surprise. Many did not return over the winter, but this plant is strong and healthy looking, having been moved from the shed bed to more pampered environs in the yellow/white bed. (Closer to the hose spigot.) A post about this native flower can be seen by clicking here-Helen’s Flower.
A most beautiful seedhead is that of Queen Anne’s Lace, Daucus carota. Every phase of this plants life, from lacy, chic green foliage, white snowflake flowers and caged prickly seeds is exquisitely detailed. It can be seen along every roadside and non-cultivated field here,
yes, native. No, not native, but it has been around for so long it is considered one of us! (Thanks Monica!)
Hooray for the seedheads that managed to mature and open on the Asclepias tuberosa! Normally they shrivel up and produce no viable seeds. These little darlings will be scattered and planted carefully for this butterfly weed is a plant that is hardly a weed at all. There is no such thing as too much of it. Happy to report, native.
The same can be said for Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’. There are finally seedlings of blooming size, much to the delight of bees and butterflies like this little Pearl Crescent. Something is chewing the gold petals without mercy, probably the dastardly grasshoppers. They are always a problem in hot, dry summers. There is no such thing as a summer here in southeast Tennessee that is not hot and dry.
It was thrilling to find some of these came with the property Datura metel plants this year. Even though seed was saved and scattered, there were no plants at all last year. 2010 has shown several, one already blooming size. We love their exotic good looks, considering them friendly aliens.
Public Service Announcement: This foliage that looks something like marigolds is ragweed, Ambrosia sp., seen this past weekend at offspring Semi’s house. Mr. Semi is so allergic to this plant, among many other things, that it requires doctor visits and prescription pharmceuticals. I have shown both of them what this looks like, even pulling much of it myself in her garden, and yet it still is growing there. I believe the term is passive aggressive on her part. I cannot explain the Mister’s lack of enthusiasm for eradicating it from their property. You can lead a horse to water….
Here it is in situ. This is a true wildflower haven, showing what becomes of a garden when there is no actual gardening done. The pollinators love it and things sort of work it out by themselves, led by the natives.