Thursday, June 6, 2013

Spring Wildflowers Fade Away

The heat of June has started to set in and all our ephemerals are finishing up their show. The Eastern Red Columbine in the front garden looks as amazing as ever. This plant started as just a plug I bought one year and has since seeded itself all over in the tamest way possible. It filled out the garden I planted it initially and despite me spreading seeds all over other gardens, it only ever comes up in inhospitable places, such as in old flower pots I have stacked up and don't water. This year I think I'll try spreading them in a flat out in the green house to see if they'll grow.

Flame Azalea, Rhododendron calendulaceum, gave me a wonderful week of fragrant yellow flowers. It doesn't flower as well as I'd like it to but I'm chocking that up to it still establishing some.

Blue False Indigo, Baptisia australis, has been showing off some nice columns of flowers this year. I've learned a few things about this plant this year. (1) They can be divided, if they shoot is old enough to flower, then it's old enough to be separated from the rest of the plant with a good sharp shovel. (2) They can be an okay cut flower, which was surprising to me. I don't recommend it becuase pollinating doesn't always happen well with these and seedling production should be promoted. But sometimes you find a color combination or hybrid you really really like, so dividing and propagating that way can allow you to keep some interesting results. 

Lastly I discovered a Woodland Poppy that's still pushing out flowers, Stylophorum diphyllum. Most of these have finished up for the year, but I'm happy seeing this one still going.

Close up of the flower.

The earliest seed pods to this species have started to pop open, and I'm finding them full of ants who are too eager to eat the elaiosome from the seeds. I'm starting to find this wildflower growing out from under rocks and logs too, generally places where ants nest. This is another wildflower I'm going to try growing in flats this year, though I think they might require a cold period to germinate.