It's Wildflower Wednesday sponsored by Gail at Clay and Limestone where she invites bloggers to share stories of wildflowers in our gardens the fourth Wednesday of each month.
For September 2013 I'm featuring purple performers and Rain Lilies in the fall garden.
The much-anticipated Liatris or Gayfeather is blooming this week. Another plant generously shared by Michael at Plano Prairie Garden last year. He's not sure exactly which variety this is so he's listed it as Liatris somethingorother in his plant list. I do know for sure it is a striking color in the fall garden. The plants have begun to spread out in their second year in my garden and look better this year compared to last year when they were newly planted.
Liatris is native to the prairies of north America and is perennial to zone 3. The deer will browse the young shoots but ignore the mature plant so I cover it with an upside down hanging basket in the spring.
The fragrant leaves have been used medicinally to treat a variety of
ailments and for sachets, potpourris, and insect repellents.
Another pretty purple in the garden this fall is this Prairie Verbena (Glandularia bipinnatifida) plant which surprises me whenever I see it.
One of the most common spring wildflowers in this part of Texas, Prairie Verbena typically disappears when the early summer heat sets in but one has settled into a low spot in part shade near a plant which gets watered from time to time, so it seems to have found the perfect spot to remain green and blooming throughout the hotter and drier than average summer.
The Prairie Verbena in my yard naturally sprout from seed that has apparently always been here. We leave the backyard as natural as possible allowing native groundcover and wildflowers to grow. Deer have always ignored this plant and its blooms.
And now for the Rain lilies. We had several days of rain last week and the Hill Country Rain Lilies (Zephryranthes drummondii or Cooperia drummondii) have been amazing. I don't remember seeing so many at once. Every untended strip of land seems to have sprouted hundreds of them. Although I use photos from my own yard for Wildflower Wednesday, I wanted to show this one photo below taken at my friend Cheryl's house just a few miles north of me because of the amazing volume of rain lilies. I hope to have mine look like this eventually.
Rain lilies are members of the Amaryllis family and get their common name because they pop up most often the day after a soaking rain. We don't get a lot of rain so it's always a surprise to see the rain lilies. Although pink varieties are available the blooms are usually yellow or white, they are mildly fragrant and turn pink when pollinated so it looks like I'll have plenty more the next time it rains. The rest of the photos are from my own yard.
Rain lily is native to the warmer regions of north and south America and are hardy to Zone 7. They can be purchased growing in pots but these arrived naturally and continue to multiply. Sometimes I find a bulb when planting my garden and I always transplant it where I know it will grow.
Pretty delicate blooms after a shower.
Pollinated rain lilies forming seeds on the slender stem.
Maturing seed pod
Said to be moderately deer resistant, I've never seen them even browse the Rain Lilies. It's a great rock garden plant too.
That's the wildflower report from my garden for September 2013. Now I'm heading over to Clay and Limestone to enjoy even more wildflowers.