Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Flowers and the Midwest Native Plant Conference

Summer brings some real stunners in the native plant department. Here are a few that are blooming, now.

Butterflyweed, Asclepias tuberosa, is such an eye-popping brilliant orange. It is in the milkweed family and a real friend to Monarch butterfly caterpillars that rely on milkweeds for food. Monarchs are on the decline, so planting this showy native in your yard might benefit them.

Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pupurea, is a crowd pleaser all the way around. Not only does it have lovely blossoms, Purple Coneflowers tolerate cuttings. A bouquet of Echinacea could be a lovely addition to one's desk or diningroom table. It also draws the attention of many colorful winged visitors. Butterflies frequently visit the large pink flowers. After the flowerheads have wilted, more visitors will come. American Goldfinches loooove Purple Coneflower seeds. They become so engrossed plucking the seeds from the heads, one can quietly sneak up to them to get a better view. I was within three feet of one normally wary bird.

Rose Pink Gentian, Sabatia angularis, bespeckled the roadside along Highway 32 in southern Ohio this past weekend. I was tempted to stop each time I saw a large patch of it. So beautiful!

Purple Fringeless Orchid, Platanthera peramoena. A first for me. We came across a wet meadow adorned with these lavender lovelies . I was practically speechless.

This Cardinal Flower, Lobelia cardinalis, is just starting to bloom. I took this a few years ago in our bird feeding area next to our building at Southeastway Park. Hummingbirds love this plant. We would frequently have a few feisty hummers duking it out over who possessed the blossoms.

If you would like to learn more about the native plants that grow here in Indiana, Ohio and the surrounding area, I invite you to attend the Midwest Native Plant Conference in Dayton, Ohio. It takes place August 6th-8th with lots of interesting speakers, field trips guided by expert naturalists and botanists, and many vendors selling native plants. I will be there helping with field trips and speaking on native plants and their fascinating survival mechanisms. Hope to see you there!



flower delivery in the philippines said...

Pretty flowers! I like it. Wish I can also have those flowers in my garden. Anyway, I enjoyed reading this post. Looking forward for your next post.


John said...

I just found your blog and like the pictures on all of the posts I read. I can attest that hummingbirds definitely do like cardinal flowers -- we get them down here in Florida too.