Tag Archives: purple coneflower

October Sunday Flowers and Insects

An old favorite pass-along plant, this Chrysanthemum has been part of my garden(s) for more years than I can remember. Found the first flowers just starting to open today, bringing sweet memories of the person who shared it with me. The flowers are small and grow from a woody stem.


A transplanted Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) began blooming several weeks ago bringing a fresh greenery and fresh blooms to the fall garden and attracting insects.

Gracing its flower was (I think) a Silver-spotted Skipper (Epargyreus clarus).

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Soon a bee moved in to join the party.

Bee on Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Bee on Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

The bee and the butterfly shared this flower for only a second or two before the bee settled down on a nearby flower.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

What A Plant Knows

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

What A Plant Knows

Can we say that plants have senses? How do plants sense their environment and how do scientists study plant senses?

These are questions I am exploring for the next few weeks in a free, online class entitled What a Plant Knows (and other things you didn’t know about plants). The class is taught by Tel Aviv University Professor Daniel Chamovitz, who wrote a book by the same title.

The class began last week and I am enjoying it so much I wanted to mention it here. It is not too late to start the course, offered through Coursera, a company that offers massive open online courses (MOOCs).

Plant Swap

We finally had much-needed rain this past week and even now there is a fine mist. It is cool 68.7 °F and gray, the opposite of last weekend when we had clear blue sunny skies and temperatures in the high 80s. Last Sunday I helped with a neighborhood plant swap. It was heartening to see the turnout of people (including some children) interested in sharing plants with each other.

I shared Monarda, Hedychium coronarium, and Penstemon digitalis ‘Husker Red’ and in return, I could not resist some reblooming Irises of unknown color and a white peony, Paeonia Festiva Maxima. Today I found several rebloomers flowering in the garden.

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris)  (bearded German Iris)

Reblooming Iris germanica (Bearded iris) (bearded German Iris)


The Swamp Sunflower continues to tower over the back border. Today it was covered with bees. On Thursday during a cold, heavy rain I spied a hummingbird stopping in to visit along the top of this plant. The hummingbirds are gone now and no more Monarchs ever showed up, just that one.

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

Helianthus angustifolius (Swamp Sunflower)

The Sedum gradually is turning brown now. The last time I photographed it a big grasshopper was sitting on it. No way to know if this is the same one but it looks completely cushioned by the tiny flowers.

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) and Differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis

Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’ (Herbstfreude) and Differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis

Mid-September Blooms

One week before the autumnal equinox, large puffy clouds adorn the deep blue sky. It is a beautiful, sunny day, 79°F.

This Stargazer Dahlia is a cactus-flowered dwarf variety. Grown from seed and passed-along a few years ago by a dear neighbor, this lone survivor returns annually without any special attention.

Dahlia ‘Stargazer’

Speaking of survivors, this tomato was a surprise, surprise when I discovered it last week growing underneath a bird feeder. My next-door neighbor grows beautiful and delicious tomatoes and I assume a little bird thoughtfully brought this into my garden.

A Tomato Volunteer

A patch of zinnias is finally adding some cheerful color in a back corner of the property. Mixed seeds always seem to be mostly pink but finally a few yellow, coral and orange are blooming now.


Though most have faded by this point in the season, several Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) continue to display fresh blossoms.

Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

Tradescantia (Spiderwort) are a very favorite flower but they have become so aggressive I have had to cut back, pull up, and repeat the same removal process over and over throughout the summer. The result is that many Tradescantia are still present and blooming. My former garden has very heavy clay and lots of shade and the tradescantia stayed very well-contained, but here it is too spready. This white blossom is an unusual one, most in this garden are blue or violet.

Tradescantia (Spiderwort)

The gardenia shrubs continue to be welcomingly fragrant. This is one of the Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’ that grow along the western border of the garden. The newly planted ‘August Beauty’ variety is doing well but it will be some time before it can provide much screening to hide the heating and air conditioner units.

Gardenia jasminoides ‘Chuck Hayes’

Roses are not my forte but this Rosa ‘Iceberg’ belonged to a special friend who passed away a few years ago. Several times I have almost given up on it but it did not give up. So here is this lovely bloom today as a special reminder of a special person. I enjoy that gardens can honor memories and cultivate friendships. Thanks for visiting my garden today.

Rosa ‘Iceberg’

Black and Blue

Sporting a black stem and black calyces, a single tall flower spike of Salvia guaranitica  (Blue anise sage) appeared in the Southern side path earlier in the week. Today several of its tubular flowers are open and one can easily appreciate its cultivar name, ‘Black and Blue.’  If the pattern of frequent rains continues, there should be plenty more of this herbaceous perennial coming along for hummingbirds and butterflies to enjoy all summer.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’, Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower) and Perovskia atriplicifolia (Russian Sage)

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Echinacea purpurea (Purple Coneflower)

And here is a look at it from the other direction facing a sea of white rose campion along the slate path.

Salvia guaranitica ‘Black and Blue’ and Lychnis coronaria (Rose Campion)

Echinacea – Purple Coneflower

Echinacea is a native perennial that is touted for its drought-tolerance, but this spring’s plentiful rains really have made the echinacea green and healthy-looking. I’ve moved some of the plants around since last year and am excited to see them adapting in several locations with varying microclimates.

Deer will occasionally taste echinacea, as they did last night, but generally they don’t bother them.

Echinacea purpurea – eastern purple coneflower (Asteraceae)