Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Ragweeds, Common and Giant

The pollen of ragweed drifting on the breeze can cause sneezing fits and allergy woes for those that suffer from hay fever. Common ragweed is the more compact of the two and can be recognized by the 'toothy' lobes of it's leaves. Giant ragweed can reach heights of twelve feet and has palm-like lobed leaves. Both plants sport spikes of greenish yellow flower heads that contain male and female flowers that bloom August through September.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ironweed Flowers

The flowers of the Ironweed are small and bloom in clusters that sit atop the plant. Blooming progresses from the center of the cluster to the edges. Even though the blooms themselves are somewhat small, when seen close up they have an exotic look to them.  Flower color ranges from lavender to purple and white flowers are considered rare. Classified as a wildflower and perennial herb it is recommended to grow alongside stream edges, to naturalize meadows and to grow as a border in flower gardens. It provides color from late August to October and is a majestic plant.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Swamp Milkweed

Swamp milkweed is a show-off with it clusters of rose colored flowers, it's spiky willow like leaves and and a stem just kissed with the color of wine. None of this is missed by the beautiful visitor in this photo. Milkweed varieties are beloved by butterflies and Monarch caterpillars can only feed on milkweed or they die. The swamp milkweed is listed as a wildflower and is grown in many gardens.  I like it best just growing wild surrounded by other beautiful weeds.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bashful Volunteer

A scattering of sunflower volunteers sprang up around the arbors where the bird feeders hang. None of them have been large or showy but this little one impressed me with its look of bashfulness.
This photo is also one of the first I took with my new iphone.  I am learning about the many things it can do.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Crab Apple

The crab apple tree has branches loaded and drooping to the ground. I did not intend for this tree to be, an ornamental crab apple was planted and a few suckers came up that I neglected and overnight  (it seems) there was a tree bearing fruit. Much fruit! These small fruits make a delicious jelly that is good served with cold meats during the holidays. The critters enjoy eating them as well. The difference between a crab apple and an apple? Any apple with less than a two inch diameter is considered a crab apple.