It might be fitting that this Wildflower Wednesday post on our late bloomers is a little late too. The late blooms are welcome, while the cold I picked up this week, draining sinuses and energy and delaying posting, has been far less welcome.
Lobelia siphilitica would typically be finished blooming before now. This one, started from seed this spring, decided to surprise us with a few late-season blooms. (Notice the cluster of buds on the ground, complements of the bunnies?)
female winterberry holly
The winterberry holly Ilex verticillata is unlikely to have any berries left by winter. Here, birds enjoy them in October. Winterberry hollies need both male and female plants for pollination and berries. While the berries are toxic to humans, winterberry hollies are easy-care native shrubs great for a wildlife garden. Although the blooms are inconspicuous, the berries are ornamental and the foliage has nice fall color.
male winterberry holly in a less sheltered spot, showing its fall color
Possibly Symphyotrichum racemosum, these are the last asters, and the last wildflower blooms of the season in our garden. Asters are rabbit food here, and are fenced to protect them from the bunnies so they may be enjoyed by pollinators and us.
Over this season a number of new native plants found homes in our garden. Some were started from seeds like blue lobelias and a lone new prairie smoke. Others were started from cuttings: another blue lobelia, a purple milkweed, and two more Indian pinks. Still others, like wild ginger, Short's aster, blazing star, spiderwort, and sweet woodruff were passalongs from gardening friends. It's been a good year for wildflowers in our garden in spite of our hot, dry midsummer and the usual rodent shenanigans. As the season draws to a close here in Chicagoland, we're savoring the late bloomers and looking forward to spring.
For more Wildflower Wednesday posts, please visit our gracious host, Gail at Clay and Limestone.