Wednesday, August 22, 2018

August 2018 Wildflower Wednesday

I get to do my Wildflower Wednesday post on a plant I've never grown before.  This monthly event is hosted by Gail, of Clay and Limestone.

I had grown the non-native cleomes a number of years.  I was pleased that someone, and I am not remembering who, sent me some seeds of the native kind, called Rocky Mountain Bee Plant, Cleome serrulata.  Then some people in the Facebook group, Gardening with Nature in Mind brought some seedlings to a share we had, and I took one to plant in another spot.  They both did well, and I am pleased they have had a number of insect visitors.

The photos are from different days, but did not get put in the order I tried to get them in, so just know that the ones with the green house in the background are the ones I planted from seed in the fall.  The other is in the east front bed.

Cleome serrulata is a self sowing annual.  I will collect seeds and plant some just in case it is not as reliable at it as the non-native ones I used to grow.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center says the plant gets 3 to 6 feet, and does well in sun to part shade.  Mine are about three feet tall.  It says the water use is medium, but then says dry later in the information.  It is not overly dry here.  The one by the house probably gets a bit less water than the other one. 

This one in the front yard is kind of growing in the same space as a maximilian sunflower I don't remember planting.    It seems to be holding its own.

 The blooms on this one may be a little lighter colored than the other ones.

Can you see the visitors to the blooms here?

These are in the front yard:

I have enjoyed seeing all of the pollinators on the blooms.

 The next two photos are out of order because a few of the photos did not show up when I first uploaded them, and I had to do them separately.  I just noticed seed pods today, and think I will take them off to promote more blooming.  That's how it works with most annuals.  Do you have experience with these and deadheading them? 

This photo was taken today.

In looking for more information to share, I found out from the USDA database that it can be considered a weed, and one of the sources they used is a book I have, Weeds of the Great Plains, published by the Nebraska Department of Agriculture.  I looked it up in my book, and found that the seeds are a valuable food for mourning doves and songbirds, and it is a source of nectar for butterflies and night flying moths.  A number of plants in our yard are in the book as well, such as heath aster, tall thistle, Helenim autmnale, which is a favorite of the bees here, lambsleaf sage, purple poppy mallow, and others.  I guess they are all in good company.  ;-)

I look forward to finding more spots for these showy blooms that provide for the pollinators.  I hope all is well with whoever is reading this. I have not been posting except for Wildflower Wednesday, and have not kept up with the blogs I used to frequent.