Wednesday, September 26, 2018

September 2018 Wildflower Wednesday

Oh, my goodness!  How did it get to be September already?  Many plants are finished blooming for the season, but the fall bloomers are in full swing, adding beauty and nectar for the pollinators.  It is awesome to be outside with butterflies and such flying around! 

The plant I am going to feature for Gail's Wildflower Wednesday this time is one that is new to me.  I don't remember if I planted it last year, but this is the first season for it to bloom.  It has been fun to watch the Helianthus maximiliani grow and then bloom.  I have to admit to tying it up for support, as I have done with a number of tall or floppy plants.  Here is information from the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

I have these in pretty much full sun, in an area that gets hit with the sprinkler system my husband uses on the lawn when it has not been raining in awhile.

I wrote down the dates in the order the photos were taken, but for some reason, they didn't load in order.  I rearranged them, and decided to delete a few, but I think I figured out the dates these were taken.

I can tell this one is from July 26.  It is definitely not an early bloomer.

This must have been taken August 3.  Last month's featured plant, Cleome serrulata, Rocky Mountain Bee plant was in full bloom here, and the Maximilian sunflowers were still not ready to bloom.  Can you see the sunflower foliage in the middle?

This was taken September 14.  Look!  There are flower buds!

Here is what the top looked like the same day.

The next few were taken this week.  The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower site says these get 3 to 10 feet tall in one area of the page, and on another 3 to 6 feet.  That is quite a range!  The tallest stem here is about five feet high.  The blooms face east.

The white seed heads are Pale Indian Plantain.  I saw a wasp on one of them today.  I don't know if there was any pollen on there or not.

I have seen butterflies and a few bees on the blooms, but not always when I have my camera handy.  I read that numerous birds eat the seeds.  I just hope the squirrels here don't eat them all.

Here is what the Cleome serrulata plants look like this week:

This one loaded sideways for some reason.

But wait!  I need to show some photos of the action on the New England Asters, which I most likely have featured before.  They are the hot spot for the pollinators this week.  I counted 8 monarchs in this spot today, a bordered patch, and a bedraggled buckeye. This is a volunteer plant.  I am not sure how long it has been here, but the older clumps had a disease of some kind, and I cut them back.  Some of those are getting ready to bloom, and one has no buds yet.  I am thankful for the healthy volunteers!

I hope to get more blogs visited next week. I have a lot going on this week, getting ready for a native plant/seed share this Saturday for the local members of a FB group, Gardening with Nature in Mind. I know I've said this before, but I miss visiting blogs like I used to, now that I am spending so much time on Facebook.

Added After First Posted:
The next day, I saw a bordered patch butterfly and a buckeye butterfly on the sunflower blooms, and took some photos: