Wildflower Wednesday, August 2014

Today I join Gail at clay and limestone with heat loving wildflowers for August. No longer cool nor even somewhat pleasant, we’re crawling down the hard stretch of summer here in Austin, Texas. But the light is different and once in a great while, I feel a slight change to the breeze. When there is a breeze.  I say that every year, to anyone who will listen: Sometime in August there is a change–the air is different, the breeze is different! Usually those I’m in conversation with roll their eyes and smirk.

I get lots of smirks.

There’s no smirking though when viewing  this hot, summer/fall blooming GoldeneyeViguiera dentata.

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A few of these flowers open throughout the summer months, but in October? Watch out! There will be an explosion of yellow.

The ridiculously pink Rock RosePavonia lasiopetala, is a long-blooming native perennial. These pinks,

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look almost too pink.  They open in the wee hours before dawn and close in the afternoon heat.  This group is tired of the heat and are closing up shop for the day,

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…while this group contends with both heat and sun.

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By 4pm in hot August, Rock Rose blooms are done for the day. Fresh, perky blossoms will open for business early the next morning.

The glory of Purple ConeflowerEchinacea purpurea, 

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is over for the year.   I leave the gone-to-seed flower heads as long as possible for finch nibbling, but the blooms are crispy now and I’ve pruned most back to their rosettes. After the spring/summer blooms are done and pruned, there’s usually a second flowering that is shorter in stature, but very welcomed,

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…by pollinators and people.  Later in fall, Purple Coneflower will segue again into seed production for winter finch food.

YarrowAchillea millefolium, is taking a bow for its long bloom season as well.  All of mine, save this patch,

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are pruned to their ground foliage for the year.  I’ve always found the ecru disks of spent blooms as attractive as the snowy white of the peak of Yarrow season, so I keep them through the long summer months.

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The finches appreciate the seeds, too.

Turk’s Cap,  Malvaviscus arboreus, blooms magnificently during this toasty time of year.

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Visited by bees,

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Turk’s Cap produce scads of swirled lovelies with pollen and nectar galore and will do so for another month or two.

Frostweed, Verbesina virginica, employs a hopeful common name.

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Frost.  That’s hard to imagine right now. Frostweed’s snowy blooms evoke a coolness we can only dream about with our daily 100 degree-plus temperatures and the death rays of the August sun.

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Flowering will continue into September, giving way to seed production in the fall.

Slather on the sunscreen, drink plenty of fluids and traipse over to clay and limestone to see other hot August wildflowers.

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16 thoughts on “Wildflower Wednesday, August 2014

  1. I tried a pavonia once and after it persisted in dying. very. slowly. I assumed I “couldn’t” have any. Seeing your blossoms here I’m thinking I need to try again. (approaching the definition of “crazy” I realize, but in the garden that doesn’t apply. Says me.)

    I appreciate that you leave seed heads out for the finches. I do the same – their little “rusty gate” calls are part of the few lingering pleasures in the gardens these hot days of late August. I always resisted cutting back my coneflowers no matter how crispy they got but this year I’m following your lead with expectations of a prolonged second bloom.

    I get what you mean about the change in the air – it is as if there is no more heat behind the heat that is already established here. Perhaps more a promise of change than a change in progress. Yet. I’m hoping our weather will yield to cooler wetter days sooner rather than later. (I hope that every year though – so – grain of salt!).

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    • Well, we’ll just have to fix that problem with you not having pavonia! It’s my staple plant–anywhere–full sun, shade, and everything in between. I’ll have to check the deer part of the equation, but I’ve always had great luck with that plant. “Rusty gate!” That’s exactly what finches sound like. Thank you for that! I haven’t had them around much recently. They were all over the place at the beginning of August, but they’ve gone on “holiday” it seems. The light and air is different, even if the temps are not. I always feel that change and it is the promise of cool to come. I just have to be patient with the wait, and there is a wait.

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    • I usually call the Pavonia pink, “Barbie Doll Pink.” Right? Realistically, it won’t really cool off until October. Sometimes I feel like I’m living on wishful thinking. 🙂

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    • Hi Donna! The rock rose is truly one of my favorite plants. I find it versatile (in all situations, save deep shade) and so pretty and cheery. Enjoy the rest of your summer, though I’m sure your autumn is gorgeous as well! Thanks for stopping by.

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  2. Those are all doing so well. One benefit of your shade is how great the yarrow looks. I keep trying to plant it where it will do well but the sun always seems to nail it in August.

    Frostweed, we can only wait, I need to put that on the list for my next visit to one of our native plant nurseries.

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    • I know I shouldn’t complain about the amount of shade/part-shade that I have. I don’t (much) this time of year. But there are so many plants I wish I could grow if only I had more sun. I love frostweed. Mine are blooming up a little early this year, but even after the zenith of the bloom time, the seed heads are really attractive. Bonus for you? Frostweed is deer resistant!

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  3. So many beautiful wildflowers! We had a very mild summer this year–I loved it! It was a little tricky with some of the plants, but oh, so comfortable. I think I would like your climate–hot in the summer and mildish in the winter. Although I’d need a pool in the summer! 😉

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    • Hi Beth! I shower a lot and drink lots of fluids. Lots. The heat can be tough and it’s likely to get worse, but one can get used to it and we have a long growing season, which I like. Thanks for dropping by!

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  4. It is fascinating to see the wild flowers that grow in your part of the world. They are beautiful. We have Yarrow and we grow Echinaceas in the garden but all the others are unknown to me. Thank you for an interesting post.

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    • One of the wonderful gifts of garden memes like Gail’s Wildflower Wednesday is that we can see and learn about wildflowers and natives from other parts of the world. Heck, it’s nice to see anything that other gardeners grow–be it native plants, veggies, herbs or trees or whatever! Thanks for stopping by, Chloris!

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  5. A slight breeze visited last night and I told the family that we finally tipped over peak summer. They seemed dubious. I just wish the National Weather Service would stop telling me there is a 20% chance for rain. Dangling the hope is just cruel. They should say something like: rain? not bloody likely. I have wanted to grow frostflower forever. Where can a person get seeds or plants?

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    • People roll their eyes an smirk, sometimes shaking their heads at me when I insist things are changing. But, the light and air changes in August. It does!! Aren’t those weather people cruel? I don’t even listen anymore. It was cloudy this morning when I was out, so…maybe? Maybe.

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