Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Joe Pye Weed Seeds

Fall forces plants to do a lot of crazy things. Pictured here is a hollow stem Joe Pye Weed, Eupatorium fistulosum. Though the main growth of the plant clearly died back it's still pushing out new growth. This picture is a few weeks old.

As we go more current we see this minor growth had a purpose. All over the plant there are tiny clusters of flowers, compared with the normal mats of flowers in July.

They don't get nearly as many pollinators now as they're competing with Asters and Goldenrods that bloom their best in the autumn. But a few of our native bees are happy to pollinate them all the same.

Clearly it has paid off. This picture I took only hours ago. While almost all the seeds on the plant have blown away or been eaten by birds this new cluster happens just in time for the end of fall.