Archive for the ‘Wildflowers’ Category


Blue forget-me-nots

Shortly after posting the item on an amazing tree that clings to life from the cliffs at Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, I got to thinking about another aspect of persistent plants: the invasives. These, too, find homes on the sandstone cliffs off of the south shore of Lake Superior — and once they’re established they don’t want to go away.


Clintonia borealis


Miner's Castle on Lake Superior

While visiting Miner’s Castle (photo below), we admired the pretty forget-me-nots (Myosotis spp.), blanketing the forest floor nearby. It turns out these are not natives to the area, but a very aggressive plant that is displacing trout lilies and other plants of the region. Since this is a rare ecosystem, the National Parks Service is taking some steps to remove (or at least reduce) the forget-me-nots and other invasives such as garlic mustard and spotted knapweed from the area. We also saw what I think is Clintonia borealis (yellow corn lily), which is native to the Upper Penninsula.


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Last night, while walking the dog about 9 p.m., my husband commented that it seemed darker than usual. We have crossed over to the backside of summer, and as if they know it cannot last forever, the summer flowers are blooming in desperation.

A daylily I was given during a Garden Writers of America tour last year is now in bloom. This showy, mid-season daylily (Hemerocallis) came from American Daylily & Perennials, a Kansas City company run by hybridizer Jack Roberson and his wife, Jo. I’m a real daylily dunce, but I think this one is either ‘Addie Branch Smith’ or a new daylily called ‘Lady Jackie’. There are thousands of daylilies that have been hybridized over the years and a several hybridizers work in Minnesota.

Out in the meadow behind my house, new plants are blooming. I moved this black-eyed Susan from my front yard bed last year, and it’s brightening up the back. There’s also an Indian blanket flower (Gaillardia pulchella) in bloom.

Finally, while not a bloom, a very welcome summer event is the arrival of the July raspberries. I’ve been picking a few for the last week or so and am hopeful for larger harvests this week. This yellow variety is called ‘Anne’.

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Blooming Prairie

The back of our yard butts up against what is locally referred to as the “nature area.” It’s a series of storm water retention ponds with grasses and plants around them. The area boasts lots of birds and occasional visits from loons, which my friend, Penny, posted about earlier this year. It also hosts a colony of muskrats and a family of beavers, who have been the talk of the neighborhood this spring. When we first moved here, I spread a mix of wildflower seeds in the meadow right behind our house. During spring and early summer, I get a nice show of blooms. I’m not sure exactly what any of the plants are (though I think the yellow one is a form of rudbeckia), but they are pretty. I especially like these bluish purple blooms, which give the meadow a hazy look in the early morning.

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