Gayle Madwin (queerbychoice) wrote,
Gayle Madwin

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August Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day

Not much blooms here in August, not even for Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day. Even my native strawberry and Susan's purple alyssum, both of which bloom nearly the entire year long, aren't blooming now. In fact, the only plant I planted myself that is really blooming a lot on this particular morning is my native milkweed (Asclepias fascicularis). I've posted pictures of its flowers before, but the new thing it's just started to produce this month is seeds. Here's a newly opened seedpod with two milkweed beetles crawling on it. (One of them is on the left underside, so you can only see its upside-down silhouette.)

Actually, I suppose if you count the deergrass spikes as being flowers of a sort, those would be something else I planted myself that is blooming plenty right now. It's just that I rather prefer the look of deergrasses without the spikes.

I already posted a picture of my native sacred datura (Datura wrightii) that bloomed earlier in August. The flower wilted after about one day, but it has a new bud on it now. Also, its non-native cousin jimsonweed (Datura stramonium) has produced several flowers and one fruit.

The bush monkeyflower (Mimulus puniceus) in the front yard has been 98% brown and 100% flowerless for at least two months, but the one in the back yard is only about 50% brown and is still producing a few short-lived flowers.

My native foothill beardtongue (Penstemon heteropyllus 'Blue Springs') has exactly one flower left on it this morning.

My catmint (Nepeta x faassenii 'Walker's Low') had died back almost completely after blooming, but then earlier this month, it produced one lone green stalk with a few more purple flowers on it. But then the dogs stepped on it and broke off that stalk at ground level. And then I dug out the bermudagrass from all around it, and may ave damaged its own roots in the process. So it may or may not recover.

Oh, and remember that plant that I thought was a massively overgrown Fort Miller fairyfan (Clarkia williamsonii)? It finally bloomed, and thereby revealed that (as those of you familiar with Clarkia williamsonii) may already have suspected) it's not Clarkia williamsonii at all. It's in the same plant family, but it's actually a native volunteer willowherb (Epilobium spp.) I had other volunteer willowherbs, but I think this one must be a different species from the others. The actual flowers look identical, but it's blooming about two months later than the others did, and the leaves on this one are much narrower, and the plant itself is about three times the height of the others (though that may have a lot to do with the fact that the fence post is helping to hold it up). The stems of the others broke off at ground level under their own weight when they got to about three feet tall. This one is now well over six feet tall - maybe seven feet if the stem were stretched straight rather than wound around the fence post.

And here's one of the almost microscopic flowers on it. It's a reasonably interesting foliage plant, but the flowers are definitely not impressive.

Speaking of Epilobium species, I'm frustrated that my California fuchsias (Epilobium canum 'Calistoga' hybrids) still haven't bloomed. They certainly don't look unhappy; they're both covered with healthy leaves, and the older one has spread to form a dense clump about two feet in diameter. But still no sign of flowers from them. Waah!
Tags: native plants, photographs
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