Sunday, August 16, 2009

The Prairie in Late Summer

Our prairies are entering their late summer phase - the mid-summer plants are finishing up their flowering and the late summer/early fall ones are coming on. I enjoy watching the succession of blooms and growth.

Here's a tour - first the plants that are finishing up. Here are some Purple Coneflowers, in all their various phases of bloom:

The Vervain and Grey-headed (Yellow) Coneflowers are almost done flowering:

This Liatris is finishing up - it's a favorite with all sorts of butterflies:

The Wild Indigo makes fat, pea-like seed pods (this makes sense, as it's a member of the pea family):

The Compass Plants are beginning to fade, but the foliage is always interesting:

I also love to look at the foliage of the Cup Plants:

The flowers of the Rattlesnake Master are very unusual:

These Brown-Eyed Susans are in full flower:

As are the Nodding Wild Onions:

The Tall Coreopsis has reached its full height of almost 8 feet:

The earlier grasses are setting seed - the first is Canada Wild Rye and I'm not sure what the second is - it may be Little Bluestem:

The Big Bluestem grass is just starting to grow towards its full height of over 6 feet:

These Maximillian Sunflowers make huge mounds - and when flowering some plants reach 8 to 10 feet in height:

The Ironweed is a rich, deep purple:

The goldenrods are just getting started - we have a lot of the common Canada Goldenrod, which isn't in bloom yet, but this a lovely early one that I think is Ohio Goldenrod (there are at least 7, and I have trouble telling them apart):

Our Common Milkweeds are done flowering, but the Swamp Milkweed is in the middle of its bloom period, and attracts the same special visitors - Monarch butterflies:

Before we know it, it'll be fall, which is actually my favorite time of year.


  1. That's exactly what I was thinking about today. Almost September...
    Got to love the colours of Autumn though :)

  2. Oooh! Such pretty and unusual flowers...all windown down for the summer. My fave are the coneflowers. I wish we saw more of them around here. I've never heard of the Rattlesnake Master. Wonder why they are called that? Do they rattle...or are they noxious or toxic in some way?


  3. Lisa - I believe that Native Americans (not sure which tribes) used Rattlesnake Master as a remedy for snakebite. Perhaps someone out there reading knows more?

  4. I found the names of some of the plants as interesting as the plants themselves. When the maximillian sunflowers actually flower do they look basically like a typical sunflower or different? I love sunflowers.

  5. Melissa - the Maximilliams make profuse small sunflower heads - not as big as the ones grown for seeds - at the top of the plant, when they reach their full height - which is often 8-10 feet.

  6. Gorgeous photography. Well done!

  7. What wonderful pics! Your wildflowers and grasses are lovely. A lot of them are popular garden plants in the UK. We used to have loads of wildflowers when I was a kid but high intensity agriculture has done for most of them!!

  8. Kate;

    As usual, I devoured your plant post from first word to last !! LOL !!

    I've always been a sucker for purple coneflowers as well...your pictures were excellent !


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