Last of Summer: in bloom this week

Mexican sunflower, Tithonia.
Mexican sunflower, or Tithonia.

Two very different tall annuals are at their best now, the blazing orange Mexican sunflowers and the elegant, fragrant woodland tobacco.

Woodland Tobacco, Nicotiana sylvestris.
Woodland Tobacco, Nicotiana sylvestris.

A native annual which volunteered in the rock garden, sweet everlasting, is now in bloom, when almost nothing else is: a few late harebells and some rebloom on the bird’s foot violets accompany the everlasting.

Sweet everlasting.
Sweet everlasting, Gnaphalium obtusifolium.

The bright yellow daisy of old fields and roadsides, black-eyed Susan, is either an annual, a biennial or a short-lived perennial. A few seedlings which volunteered in the gardens have now come into bloom.

Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta.
Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta.

Sweet black-eyed Susan is perennial and, in fact, rather slow to get going from seed. It is supposed to be fragrant but I cannot perceive any sweetness from mine.

Sweet Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia subtomentosa.
Sweet Black-eyed Susan, Rudbeckia subtomentosa.
Tall Sunflower, Helianthus
Tall Sunflower, Helianthus giganteus, blooming in front of prairie blazing star (Liatris pycnostachya) in the nursery.

One pot of tall sunflower was planted, not too long ago, in some rough grass, and it is blooming lustily. Not bad for a seedling!

Tall sunflower, Helianthus
Tall sunflower, Helianthus
Kankakee mallow, Illamna remota
Kankakee mallow, Illamna remota.
Royal catchfly, Silene regia.
Royal catchfly, Silene regia.

Two species from further south which are new to me: Kankakee mallow and royal catchfly. Kankakee mallow has delicately pink hollyhock-like flowers, set off with a darker red centre, and maple-like leaves on a tall plant. It is indigenous to a single site in Illinois but seems to be easy to grow in gardens. We shall see how hardy it is in western Quebec.

Because the butterfly milkweed got off to such a late start this year, it is still in bloom in mid-September.

Butterfly milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa.
Butterfly milkweed, Asclepias tuberosa.
Great blue lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica.
Great blue lobelia, Lobelia siphilitica.

Virginia mountain mint is finishing up, but the grey leaved short-toothed mountain mint is still in bloom and attracting lots and lots of large bumblebees. (As are the two blazing stars, spike and prairie, whose tall spires are turning brown at the top but still blazing at their bottoms.)

Mountain mint, Pycnanthemum nontanum
Short-toothed mountain mint, Pycnanthemum muticum.
Heart-.leaved aster.
Heart-.leaved aster.

aster2

 

Heart-leaved aster occurs naturally under shrubs and trees around the farmhouse. It makes a very pretty, billowy blue ruff at the base of shrubs and is also nice as a cut flower to lighten bouquets of yellow and orange daisies.

 

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Trish Murphy

Artist: botanical, still life, and natural history illustration. Garden designer: native plants and naturalistic gardens

One thought on “Last of Summer: in bloom this week”

  1. Lots of great blooms. Love the Kankakee Mallow, which I don’t have. In my garden the Nicotiana sylvestris pooped out in August and has not really recovered. Also the Asclepias tuberosa bloomed a bit later than normal but has been done for over a month.

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