Mt. Cuba Center they had this wonderful perennials sunflower that I just loved the moment I saw it. First off note that everything is pretty much dead in the photo except for it. That's because it was probably late September or October when it was taken.
Also take one last quick glance at the background in both photos.
First off Helianthus is a fair sized genus with lots of perennial sunflowers in it, but almost no one is selling them. The ones I do see getting sold are almost always followed by the warning "This plant likes to spread by rhizomes and is not suitable for small gardens." I hate this warning so much because I really don't get the idea of what they mean by a small garden. Compare for a moment how much fuller this plant is from the first photo at the top to the one just above. That's one year's difference and I fell like I can honestly live with that. But its kind of obvious that it's sending up a few dozen more stems.
Presumably the narrow leaves of the plant don't shade out what's growing under or through it. Whether it's growing up through something or falling over on them I don't see this plant shading anything out. I report in later years on if that's the case or not.
I forget if Rudbeckia fulgida or Rudbeckia hirta was the dominant species, but R. hirta is an annual/biannual while R. fulgida tends to be a perennial. I get so annoyed by seeing this many wonderful flowers and not seeing a single bee on them! I know I've seen tiny Sweat Bees and the occasional Honeybee work them but even in bulk like this, and in a massive native plant garden too almost nothing is pollinating them for long. Clearly it doesn't take much to initiate pollination because they're spreading so well, so maybe the temperature has to be right or something.
Callicarpa americana, were starting to ripen. Of all the berry plants that ripen now I'm told this is among the first the birds go after.
Southern Blue Monkshood, Aconitum uncinatum, was in bloom and it's always one I love to highlight. Don't get me wrong, it's a deadly poison that will kill you if you eat any part of it. But it's also the only plant that gives you this color in the shade at this time of the year. I've seen Monarchs on it too! Bees love it.
skin irritant that causes some god awful welts, soars, and discoloration. Not something you want to have in the garden ... at least not right up front. The bees were enjoying it though.