Skip to main content

Wildflower Wednesday - Ironweed

Ironweed 

Vernonia fasciculata is my pick for Wildflower Wednesday as it's just starting to bloom in my garden and is one of my all-time favorites.  One look at that color, and its mop of flowers often covered with bees, and I knew it belonged in my garden.
But where to find it?  As with too many native plants, it wasn't available locally so I deployed an even better option - found it in a field slated for commercial development, asked permission,  and "rescued" several.
It took a couple of years to seem happy, but now it dies to the ground each winter only to return the following late spring/early summer to make me and the bees happy.
Evidently ironweed doesn't make everyone happy.  Check out this quote I found online:  
"Ironweed was named for its rugged stalks, which stubbornly persist throughout the winter. Its underground stems are equally tenacious, sending up sprouts even when repeatedly mowed. The plant's vivid purple flowers may look lovely in a cityscape, but they are a bane in the pasture."
Do you have a favorite wildflower?  Wildflower Wednesday was started by my friend Gail on her blog "Clay and Limestone" to celebrate the native plants that sustain our native bees and pollinators.  Share yours - and follow Gail - to encourage a bit of re-wilding in our gardens.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Welcome Mat

Each year as the Monarchs funnel through Central Texas on their way to Mexico's oyamel forests for the winter, I hope they see my welcome mat.  It's a small multi-colored spot in the midst of the green  suburban lawns and brown pastures surrounding me.  Nectar producing plants are planted in clumps at least 3 feet wide to increase visibility for my anticipated guests, and offered in a variety of colors to appeal to many eyes - both single and compound.
At the beginning of this 2019 fall migration, the mistflowers were the big draw.  They create a long early swath of blue in the front yard that gives way beyond the Turk's cap (Malvaviscus arboreus) to a tall blue mistflower that threatens to climb the six foot tall fence in the back.  The blue in front is Gregg's blue (Conoclinium greggii) and the tall one remains a mystery that was sold to me as "fragrant mistflower".  Just as they fade, the shrubby boneset (Eupatorium havanense) fires up on the opposite sid…

Gardening in Air Soup

This morning I stepped outside and was met with a solid wall of hot air, stifling enough to convince me to go right back inside to complain about it.  Motivated by the sight of a gasping oak leaf hydrangea, a bit later I headed out again.  Honestly the air was so thick, I wondered why no Texan had yet developed something like diving apparatus to allow us to breathe in the summer heat.  Oh right, I remember, it's called air conditioning, but I've yet to figure out how to take it outside with me.
This is summer gardening in Central Texas - a little time snatched from the crack of dawn,  short mid-day forays faster than an anole's tongue out and back again,  then a final exhaustive push to finish in the afternoon when the heat has built up but you do it anyway before collapsing in a soggy heap.  It's when 90 degrees is considered a cold front.
So you've probably already figured out there won't be any pictures of cheerful, healthy posies in this post.  There IS a …