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Posts tagged “autumn wildflowers

Many Flowered Aster, 2011

many flowered aster
many flowered aster

Many Flowered Aster

That’s actually the name of this particular autumn aster; I guess they ran out of creative ideas in naming the dozens of little white composite flowers with their raised warm yellow centers. I’m a pushover for little white flowers, especially when they are gently touched by morning sun against a backdrop of weathered wood.

Most asters have flowers only at the end of the stem, or they bloom in succession along the stem, but this particular aster also has many branches, each with their own sets of flowers, and when they bloom all at once the plant looks very snowy; this is probably the origin of the term “many-flowered”. Here is last year’s photo entitled “Many Flowered Aster”.

many-flowered aster

Many-Flowered Aster


Creekside Wildflowers, 2011

wildflowers along a creek
wildflowers along a creek

Creekside Wildflowers

Autumn wildflowers aren’t nearly as showy as spring wildflowers, but their lacy forms create clouds of shape and texture and delicate color, especially along a water’s edge.

These wildflowers are growing right along Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, and that’s the neat thing about wildflowers—they’ll spring up anywhere they can find a bit of soil for roots.

Starting from the left…

The yellow flowers are evening primrose, a native biennial that opens as its name predicts, in the evening. The flowers are just opening here.

The deep violet flowers are purple loosestrife, an non-native invasive perennial that was popular in gardens but which has escaped and is very successful growing along the edge of any body of water. It’s not too abundant here, but in areas where it becomes established it crowds out native plants that feed local songbirds and attract native insects for pollination.

Near the center, at about 11:00, there is one stem visible from blue vervain, another native with tiny seeds that finches love.

The fuzzy pink flowers are joe-pye weed, a native annual, and can grow anywhere from one to six feet tall with curved umbels of soft pink flowers. To the left of the joe-pye you’ll see some white flowers as if the joe-pye is fading to white—this is actually boneset, another native annual.

On the right you can see a spray of pink flowers. I first saw this several years ago and simply could not identify it with any of my guide books. Then two years ago I saw a specimen in a conservation garden and thought I’d marked it in my book when I got home, but no. I’ll have to go out and find it again.


Many Flowered Aster

many flowered aster

Many Flowered Aster

That’s actually the name of this particular autumn aster; I guess they ran out of creative ideas in naming the dozens of little white composite flowers with their raised warm yellow centers. I’m a pushover for little white flowers, especially when they are gently touched by morning sun against a backdrop of weathered wood.

Most asters have flowers only at the end of the stem, or they bloom in succession along the stem, but this particular aster also has many branches, each with their own sets of flowers, and when they bloom all at once the plant looks very snowy; this is probably the origin of the term “many-flowered”. Here is last year’s photo entitled “Many Flowered Aster”.

many-flowered aster

Many-Flowered Aster


Creekside Wildflowers

wildflowers along a creek

Creekside Wildflowers

Autumn wildflowers aren’t nearly as showy as spring wildflowers, but their lacy forms create clouds of shape and texture and delicate color, especially along a water’s edge.

These wildflowers are growing right along Chartiers Creek in Carnegie, and that’s the neat thing about wildflowers—they’ll spring up anywhere they can find a bit of soil for roots.

Starting from the left…

The yellow flowers are evening primrose, a native biennial that opens as its name predicts, in the evening. The flowers are just opening here.

The deep violet flowers are purple loosestrife, an non-native invasive perennial that was popular in gardens but which has escaped and is very successful growing along the edge of any body of water. It’s not too abundant here, but in areas where it becomes established it crowds out native plants that feed local songbirds and attract native insects for pollination.

Near the center, at about 11:00, there is one stem visible from blue vervain, another native with tiny seeds that finches love.

The fuzzy pink flowers are joe-pye weed, a native annual, and can grow anywhere from one to six feet tall with curved umbels of soft pink flowers.

On the right you can see a spray of pink flowers. I first saw this several years ago and simply could not identify it with any of my guide books. Then two years ago I saw a specimen in a conservation garden and thought I’d marked it in my book when I got home, but no. I’ll have to go out and find it again.


Many-Flowered Asters

many-flowered aster

Many-Flowered Aster

That’s really the name of this variety of aster. Makes me think they ran out of ideas and just went right for the obvious. There are so many varieties of asters blooming from late August to November, and each of them is my favorite flower, whichever one is blooming nearest me.

This lovely bunch of asters is growing out of a crack in the sidewalk one door down from me. Beauty is everywhere.

Autumn is the gaudiest season, and while I love the enthusiastic display of colored leaves all over the hills and backyards and streets, I also love the gentler display of autumn wildflowers. I encourage many asters to grow in my yard, including this many-flowered aster, and a bouquet of these on the table next to my door is like a brilliant cloud; combined with goldenrod and deep purple ironweed it’s the essence of autumn.