Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What's blooming in High Park, late August

[Photo: Helianthus divaricatus.] Summer is at its climax, and there's lots to see in High Park! The current stars in the flowering native plant world are
  • Desmodium canadense (showy tick trefoil, desmodie du Canada)
  • Helianthus divaricatus (woodland sunflower, hélianthe à feuilles étalées, shown above)
  • Silphium perfoliatum (cup plant, plante bain d'oiseaux)

    Other natives in bloom include

    The various Solidago spp. (goldenrods, verges d'or) are just getting started, but no sign of the Symphyotrichum spp. (asters) yet.

    Of course there are also various non-native wildflowers kicking around, such as

    • Cichoricum intybus (chicory, chicorée sauvage)
    • Daucus carota (Queen Anne's Lace, carotte sauvage)
    • Melilotus albus (sweet clover, mélilot blanc)
    • Trifolium repens (white clover, trèfle blanc)

    I spent part of Sunday morning weeding the Boulevard Beds, which are a showcase for native plants near High Park's Grenadier Restaurant. Most of my efforts were focused on Lunaria annua (aka money plant, annual honesty, silver dollars, lunaire annuelle, or monnaie-du-pape). [Photo: garbage bag with various junk from Boulevard Beds, mostly seed pods from #&*!% Lunaria annua.] I used to think this plant was pretty. Those papery seedpods are a lot less pretty when you're trying to pick a million of them out from leaf litter. If you are thinking of growing this non-native in your garden, be warned! Harvest the ornamental seed pods promptly, before they fall on the ground and make life miserable.

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