Monday, September 23, 2019

The Grand Finale

Hairy Blazing Star
The end of the summer season has come.  Fall is here. You can see it everywhere in nature. The days are getting shorter. The sun has a lower angle in the sky. Some leaves are beginning to change. And the native wildflowers? Well, they are looking spectacular! It’s what I like to call the Grand Finale, the final blooming period of the season when there seems to be an explosion of flowering plants, particularly in the Aster family, Asteraceae. Plants in this family include Asters, Goldenrods, Bonesets, Sunflowers, Rattlesnake Root and Liatris.

Fields and roadsides come alive with the colors yellow, purple and white. Actually, it’ not a sudden thing. There are many species of late summer and fall plants, some blooming early, some later and some in between that overlap and the show seems to peak in mid to late September. Then there are those which bloom in October, which keep the color coming. One of those is Seaside Goldenrod, which happens to bloom around the time of the Monarch butterfly migration and is a valuable food source for them along their journey.
Seaside Goldenrod
Early species which start in mid-August include Sweet Goldenrod, Slender Aster, Woodland Sunflower, Silver Rod, Bog Aster, American Boneset and Round Leaved Boneset.

Mid species include Showy Aster, Wrinkle Leaf Goldenrod, Slender Goldenrod, Hyssop Leaf Boneset, Hairy Blazing Star, Flat Topped White Aster, Maryland Golden Aster, Blue Mistflower, White Snakeroot and Rattlesnake Root.
Later species include Stiff Leaved Aster, Heath Aster, New York Aster, Late Purple Aster and Seaside Goldenrod that bloom well into October. These plants are an important late nectar source for our pollinators.

New York Aster
As the days get shorter, and the weather becomes cooler, it’s a great time to get out for a nature walk and enjoy this one last spectacle of nature’s beauty for the season.

1 comment:

  1. flowers and plants has its meaning and usage, we just have to take care what magic natures bring to us.

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