Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Wildflower Wednesday

Today doesn't feel like fall. After picking the horses' paddock and snapping pictures for Wildflower Wednesday, I had to rinse off in the shower first before putting the pictures in the computer. But looking around, there's no mistaking fall is here.

I love the lemon yellow tones of the leaves of American Beautyberry. The yellow not only looks terrific with the bright purple berries, it gives the leaves a wonderful translucence.

The big bank of wild Sweet Pepperbush by the old house site has turned a lovely golden color.

The tree in the background with the butterscotch leaves is the only good-sized Sassafras
tree on the property. I'd love to have more but they're not the easiest trees to get started.

Wild blueberry

and sumac are turning brilliant shades of red. The blueberry leaves are
likely to continue to change and keep their leaves well into December.

Swamp sunflowers always bloom here during the month of October, and are a favorite B&B
of the little bees. At dusk it's not uncommon to see bees clinging to the flowers fast asleep.

The graceful purplish silver plumes of Lindheimer's Muhly are worth waiting for.

Dog Fennel has outgrown its ugly duckling phase and is very beautiful this time of year. I haven't
got a group picture yet, but it's especially captivating en masse and in the late afternoon sunlight.

Happy to see Gerardia back this year. This, the frost and calico asters, groundsel trees, and white turtlehead are the latest things that grow wild here to bloom. Soapwort is very late but I haven't seen that for a couple of years. Isn't the color of the Gerardia flowers beautiful? It literally glows, especially at twilight, and the flowers nod on delicate burgundy-colored stems.

Frost Asters end up acting as fillers in the garden and I actually
really like them, covered in flowers as they are. The bees love them too.

Fall wouldn't be complete without blue and purple asters.

Aromatic aster

Aster 'Miss Bessie' is starting her fall show with 'Ballerina' rose.

As far as I know 'Miss Bessie' is an especially colorful selection of
Symphyotrichum praealtum, Willow Aster. While very drought tolerant
like most asters, it will grow down into ditches in search of moisture.

Thank you Gail for starting this wonderful meme.


  1. Lucky you to have even one sassafras - I just love them! ice aster's also covetable. Lovely photos of our native beauties.

  2. You are so welcome Sweetbay! We have many of the same wildflowers, but, then you have a few wet areas that grow all those beauties I dream about~Bidens, clethra, swamp anything and now willow aster is teasing me! I would love to have sassafras here, but it won't establish! The swamp sunflower photo is lovely! gail

  3. Wonderful Wildflower Wednesday

    First time I've seen a Sassafras

  4. What pretty light in these photos! Love the close-ups of the asters and swamp sunflowers. Very nice!

  5. SweetBay,
    Amazing your swamp sunflower is still upright! The Gerardia is the host plant to the Common Buckeye I see cats on it all the time

  6. Yes, I do love the Sassafras tree. What a fall treat. That photo of the Frost Aster is VERY nice. Love your Swampsunflower photo as well.

  7. I enjoyed all the beauty surrounding you!


  8. Sweetbay, you still have so much color in your garden. We do as well, but the beautiful foliage on our trees is getting beaten by what seems to be unceasing rainfall the past week.

    When I read Sassafras, I could instantly smell the tea, one of my favorites.

  9. What a great collection of wild things.

  10. What a lovely collection of wildflowers you have, Sweetbay. I love the asters, of course, and the beautyberry, but those swamp sunflowers are really scene-stealers! I didn't realize either how pretty blueberry leaves were in the fall. So glad you included the great shot of the bumblebee on the frost aster; my camera isn't sophisticated enough--or maybe it's the photographer:)-- to understand focusing on the BEE rather than on the flowers behind it, so all my photos had blurry blobs on the clear blooms:)

  11. Love the pictures! It doesn't feel like fall here either! I am ready for some cooler weather. Carla

  12. Your selection of wildflowers and autumn color is stunning, 'Aromatic Aster' especially beautiful.

  13. Your autumn looks warm and cozy. I can almost smell the aroma of wildflowers. The pictures are great as always!

  14. Does look like fall around your place. The Swamp Sunflowers are do pretty.

  15. I love your shy sassafras and the bold blueberries. I'm cultivating both, and the sassafras are a real challenge to get going... but I do have them growing now. My blueberries have a little red, nothing to rival your beautiful shots.

  16. You do have so much wild beauty around you . . . and you know the name of each beauty!! I love the purples and yellows and reds!

  17. I hadn't heard of beautyberry until I started reading blogs, since they don't grow here. The clusters of purple berries are so decorative, that I wish they were a few zones hardier.

    The mature trees by the old house look great. How nice to have both large trees and an understory.The blue of those aromatic asters is wonderful.

  18. Asters are completely done in these parts. In fact they're still waiting for me to deadhead them.

    Beautiful flowers!

  19. Sassafras used to be my favorite tree ~ when I was a girl our school class went on a nature hike and I felt like the class smarty pants pointing out all the sassafras trees. I've learned to keep quiet since then! I never see them out here ~ maybe the conditions are not right? I've never looked it up.
    Beautiful photos ~ in some ways it doesn't look like fall but in so many others, it does.
    Thanks for letting me know the Iris photo was from spring too.


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