August 20, 2013

Late Summer Wildflowers

There are great golden sweeps across many fields now, as goldenrod is in full bloom. I love its open sprays of flowers, like bright fountains. They are pretty in a vase, and lovely as they dry. And yes, I have allergies, but no, goldenrod is not the cause of them: they are bee pollinated, with heavy pollen that doesn't travel, but they bloom at the same time as ragweed, the true culprit. Ragweed is shy, with tiny green flowers, while goldenrod blazes bright, so wrongly has gotten the blame for allergies.

There are other, more subtle flowers in the landscape now, such as the wild spirea with its fluffy heads.

Also fluffy is Joe Pye Weed, but larger and much more dramatic in the landscape, and a great favorite of insects.

Then there are these tiny balls with a spray of yellow at their center. I believe this is some kind of everlasting, not a real wildflower, but naturalized alongside the pond.

With the brilliant color of its flowers, I thought that Jewelweed was named for them, but I learned that it's the sparkle of light from raindrops on the leaves––which you can see if you click and enlarge the photo––that inspired the name.

There are tall spires of mullein growing in a logged field along my daily walk, dotted with bright yellow flowers.

Obedient plant is another cultivated flower that has naturalized near the pond. It was too invasive in my flower border, so I tossed them here, where they seem happy and add a perky note to late summer.

When the asters start blooming––and this is the first I've seen––it truly means the end of summer and beginning of fall, since they bloom mainly in September, when there will be masses of delicate violet rays in the moist landscape.

Another sign of summer's end is the cupping of Queen Anne's Lace into a bowl shape as it forms seeds, making ready for next spring.


  1. love the photos....and I see you have giant bumble bees also!

    1. We've got lots of bumblebees around here, and other bees as well, happily.

  2. Beautiful photos! Beautiful light!