The summer’s end is here, and those cool mornings are a hint of things to come. Wildflower selection is changing too, heralding autumn. Sticking to the more ‘classic’ flowers of late summer, here’s some of the blooms I’ve seen this month.
Wingstem is an excellent wildflower to highlight this month. There’s a good amount of it around, it being one of a number of yellow sunflowers and coneflowers that are dotting the late summer countryside (though technically it’s a member of the Aster family). Its petals are swept back, and the central flower area is ‘spiky’, which separates it from some of the more traditional prairie and field plants in bloom right now.
Speaking of all of those yellow prairie-style flowers out now, here’s a look at some others:
Notice the leaves are a darker green and thicker-lobed than its cousin the Grey-Headed. It blooms later in the season, too.
Note how the leaves clasp the stem of this plant- water can collect in this ‘cup’ area, providing settlers with a convenient drink; hence the name.
Helianthus is a name of a particular genus of plants in the Aster family- think of them as sunflowers. These plants can be hard to tell apart, and they hybridize, too. A few of the more well-known plants of this type are Ox Eye, Jerusalem Artichoke, and Woodland Sunflower.
The stiff upswept leaves help identify this prairie flower.
This tall prairie plant has whorls of 3 leaves spaced along the stem.
Perhaps the most notable prairie plant, with its large flowers and massive basal leaves. This plant can reach 10 feet tall.
Other prairie flowers:
Perhaps Ohio’s reddest wildflower.
Other notable and numerous late summer plants:
Queen Anne’s Lace
Some call this plant Wild Carrot.
Its roots are sometimes used as a coffee substitute.
This has been in bloom since last spring, but now white Asters are starting to bloom, so you can’t just assume it’s all Fleabane now!
My favorite midsummer wildflower.
This plant is prominent in waste areas and can fill whole fields. It can interfere with planted crops.
There are different types of Thistle, such as Field Thistle and Bull Thistle.
This plant is more often rust-colored than green in late summer.
This plant looks like all of its petals have been nibbled off- but there’s no petals!
St. John’s Wort
This uncommon plant can be spotted in moist areas.
Its purple blooms are often browning by now.
Cut Leaved Teasel
Its white blooms separate it from Common Teasel. It blooms later, too.
This classic late summer plant is slowly increasing in number.
This plant likes moist areas, and can be identified by its leaves that hug the stem.
There are a few plants that look like Morning Glories:
These classic flowers can be seen in white, purple, blue and red colors, sometimes growing on cornstalks in farmer’s fields.
If you suffer from hay fever, Ragweed is often the culprit!
Often found along wood edges.
Its purple blooms are often accompanied by berries now.
A favorite of Hummingbirds, found along wood edges.
These can sting, be careful!
Swamp Rose Mallow
Seen around the yard:
And finally, autumn foliage slowly but surely starts blooming:
Stay tuned for more autumn flowers to come!