May 2011 Wildflowers

Thalictrum dioicum, is this you?

Whoever you are, we are very pleased that you have spread nicely in the area known as the Wildflower Corner by seeds dropping to the ground. I like that type of gardening, good plants making a mass planting with zero human interference. Sort of puts the Wild in Wildflowers. Speaking of which, the fourth Wednesday of each month has been designated by my dear friend Gail of Clay And Limestone as the date to share worldwide wildflowers.

Rhododendron cumberlandense, is this you? Growing in the midst of the Thalictrum, blooming at the same time, native to our region of the Southern Appalachian Mountains, we find you both pleasing.

Oakleaf Hydrangea quercifolia ‘Alison’ has grown so large as to be nearly blocking the path to the compost bin. Pruning was done with the cuttings stuck into the ground with hopes of rooting. No harm in trying, right?

A mix of three Amsonias, A. hubrichtii, A. tabernaemontana and A. illustris ‘Shining’ was planted in the area behind the Muhly Grass along the driveway, known as the Fairelurie bed. This bed was created after visiting the Piet Oudolf designed Lurie Garden in Chicago as part of the Garden Blogger’s Spring Fling in 2009.

Gaura lindheimeri ‘Whirling Butterflies’ was a gift from daughter Semi one year. It has seeded about somewhat, with the plants moved to appropriate spots since this can grow quite tall and large, nearly a shrub.

Thank you, my dear. What a good choice for the Fairegarden.

Some may think of this as a weed, but here they are encouraged as prime examples of pollinator friendly wildflowers. Trifollium pratense, red clover is an introduced rather than native wildflower.

We do not discriminate on that basis alone, letting the bees lead the voting as to whether any plant is to be considered a weed or not. Even the natives can become weedy here and will be pulled. But having very cute seedheads, like Geranium carolinianum persuades the gardener to always leave a few standing.

What sort of wildflowers do you have around your area for the month of May? Write them up and leave a link on Gail’s Mister Linky to join in the fun.


This entry was posted in Wildflowers. Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to May 2011 Wildflowers

  1. Frances,

    I love gaura and usually have to replace it each year. However, this year, I had one come back. It says zone 5 but I find it is more of a zone 6 plant.


    Hi Eileen, thanks for stopping by and adding here. I cannot keep the pink Gaura going either, but this large white one has been good at seeding. The mother plant perished, but the babies keep it going from year to year. Perhaps if you can get some seeding to occur, it will return for you that way?

  2. Layanee says:

    I love that thalictrum. Lovely pictures and now I am going out in search of wildflowers.

    Thanks Layanee. I bet you have some fabulous and pretty wildflowers in your lovely garden!

  3. gail says:

    Hello Frances, I love your thalictrum~What a show! I love wildflowers that need little if any human help to create a mass showing! I dream of the day that Gaura becomes a shrub~It’s one of my favorites, too. Who am I kidding, I love all the wildflowers! Thank you my dear, for being a champion of WW~ xxoogail

    Hi Gail, thanks. I wish you could see how pretty the Thalictrum is in bloom. I have been trying for years to get a photo and ID for it. Those little white filaments move in the slightest breeze while I have the camera pointing towards it. As for the Gaura, as I told Eileen, the mother plant died, but the seedlings seem much tougher, as is sometimes the case with named cultivars. It is thanks to your efforts that the wildflowers are now on my radar!

  4. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Your selections of wildflowers to showcase are great Frances. I will have to get out to see what is bloomng here today.

    Thanks Lisa. I hope you have some goodies to share, too.

  5. commonweeder says:

    I have a thalictrum (unknownii) but it doesn’t look anything like yours. I wonder if it would be hardy up here in the north. My rhodies are just beginning to open. I think they had a good winter.

    Hi Pat, that sounds promising! We just bought T. ‘Lavender Mist’ and planted it in the same bed. Maybe there will be some crossing. I think it can get quite tall, but maybe not here in our hot, dry zone. Hooray for the Rhodies!

  6. linda says:

    Hope your hydrangea cuttings root well Frances! They’ve been quite successful here (until the bunnies eat them.)

    Love the amsonias. I just moved the one I got after Spring Fling to a sunnier spot this morning.

    Hi Linda, thanks, so nice to see you here. Bunnies eating Hydrangeas? Those are some tall bunnies, you must grow them big up there. HA The cuttings I took are at least two feet tall. Our bunnies like clover the best, it seems, good thing we have plenty of that, although my husband hates it. Glad to hear about your Amsonia. It was seeing them in Chicago that sparked many planting ideas here.

  7. Racquel says:

    Beautiful photos of some very lovely natives! That Thalictrum is gorgeous with those tassel like blooms. 🙂

    Thanks Racquel. The Thalictrum is subtle, but lovely and the blooms are long lasting. The foliage is gorgeous for three seasons, too.

  8. I love the Thalictrum & Rhododendron, they make a great combo.

    Thanks MMD. They really do look nice together. First time I ever even noticed.

  9. My Kids Mom says:

    I had a ‘weed’ show up in my oregano bed and I let it grow to see what it was. Turns out to be Queen Anne’s Lace. Tall and blooming lovely at the moment. With the long tap root I don’t think I can dig it out in this location, so I’m planning to save some seeds and then kill off the mother plant. I picture Queen Anne’s Lace among my purple coneflowers next year!

    The other that I have yet to identify looks and spreads like clover- large leaved- but the bloom is pinkish-purple, flat and only 3 petaled. The blooms seem to only last one day. I’ve encouraged it as a ground cover.

    Hi Jill, good deal with your wildflowers! The Queen Anne’s Lace is a biennial, foliage only the first year from seed, blooming the next, then dying. Save the dried seed heads and sprinkle the seeds where you want them to grow, but know they won’t bloom the first year after germination. I don’t know the flat pink clover, but our friend google will probably be a big help. Good luck!

  10. Duncan says:

    Hi Frances,

    Beautiful photos! I couldn’t figure out how to email you, so I’m posting a request here:

    I work for the public radio station WCQS in Asheville. Alison Arnold, for whom the Oakleaf Hydrangea cultivar ‘Alison’ is named, is our gardening contributor, and we mention it in this week’s segment.

    Could we use your beautiful photo of the plant from this post to accompany the link to the audio on our website?

    Hi Duncan, thanks. I am thrilled to hear from you about this, and have sent an email giving permission to use the photo. Thank you for asking. The way to contact me is by leaving a comment on the blog, you did the right thing. As I said in the email, Alison must have been a very special student for Dr. Dirr to name a shrub after her!

  11. Alison says:

    Love the flowers on that Thalictrum. I have Black Stockings, which is quite different. I’ll have to check out the one you have, I really like those hanging flowers!

    Hi Alison, thanks. I have seen Black Stockings in catalogs, love those dark stems. This Thalictrum is different, I am not sure about the ID, but that looks and sounded the most like what is growing here when research was done.

  12. Wonderful thalictrum! Mine has just sent up one glorious shoot, though no puffs yet. Your variety is elegant looking.

    I leave the clover (here we have white) wherever it happens to be. The more nitrogen, the better!

    Thanks for sharing your pretties!

    Hi Julie, thanks. I am happy the Thalictrum is so popular, it is more subtle than the ones on offer at nurseries and in catalogs. Clover is good. We have the white, too, but I like the pink better. It looks more like a garden plant, to me anyway.

  13. I have the same Oakleaf hydrangea, a beauty. I hope your prunings root. I can’t see why they won’t if they get water regularly?

    Oh how great, Rob! Did you see the comment from the Asheville radio station where the Alison this shrub was named for is the gardening contributor? And to think it is growing in France, too. Cool. The rootings should take. The hard part for me is to let them develop good roots before trying to replant them. Must forget all about them being there…

    I think my hydrangea is actually called Alice, Karen’s just reminded me. Looks very similar.

    Another good one named for Dr. Dirr’s technician around the same time as Alison. Cool!

  14. catmint says:

    Hi frances, I like all the plants you featured, and i particularly like that you let the bees make the important decisions. cheers, catmint

    Cheers to you, Catmint, thanks for visiting, so nice to see you here. The bees are much smarter than I am about which plants should be growing here.

  15. lynne says:

    Gaura “Whirling Butterflies” has got to be one of my all time fail-proof garden fillers. It is so beautiful and so reliable. I’ve moved about a bit, and I always plant it because it grows so quickly into a striking bushy plant. It fills empty spaces fast and prettily.

    Hi Lynne, thanks. I agree, this is a must-have plant. It has a large presence here, filling space quickly, as you say. Love it!

  16. Rose says:

    I’m amazed by your gaura, Frances–I had no idea it would get that big. I haven’t seen any sign of mine yet–I’m worried it may have gotten gobbled up by all the other friendly natives this spring:)
    The thalictrum is beautiful, especially en masse like this.

    Hi Rose, thanks. I wasn’t expecting the Gaura to be that large, either, initially planting it in too small a space. Now we know better. Perhaps not all of them get this big. I could not even keep the pink flowered one alive. They are late to emerge in spring, keep looking. They seem to sometimes move to other garden spots by themselves, too.

  17. Benjamin says:

    I’ve become a BIG fan of meadow rue. I’ve got that purple-blooming black stockings, and several yellow-blooming-with-blue-leaves cultivars. Early meadow rue is nice, too, for it’s yellow anthers.

    HI Benjamin, thanks for visiting. The cultivar ‘Black Stockings’ sounds beautiful, as do the others. I have added Lavender Mist to the Wildflower Corner. Love them all.

Comments are closed.