Wednesday, September 10, 2008

More Fall Wildflowers!

The flowers are blooming into fall! Here are five more for the One Hundred Species Challenge.

19. Chrysothamnus nauseosis, rabbitbush.

This shrubby plant grows where the land has been overgrazed in the past...
and in the xeriscaped gardens of Albuquerquians--despite the rather strong smelling leaves that gives it the species designation.

20. Ratibida pinnata, Prairie Coneflower.
This makes a wonderful, tummy-soothing
annise flavored tea, and the natives
also make a saffron color dye from it.
The cones have a wonderful smell that is very
strong in the heat of the afternoon.

21. Giallardia grandiflora, blanket flower or fireweed.

This is native to our dry, sandy soils, but has become a popular garden flower in the north and east. The rays open up spiral fashion.

22. Asclepius verticella, Whorled Milkweed.
These are already out of flower,
and have gone to seed.
The leaves and stems contain a
milky latex that is poisonous
to most animals, but Monarch butterflies
eat them exclusively, and thus
become bitter tasting to birds.
The genus name is taken from
the Greek god of healing, Aesclepius.

Geranium richardsonii, Cranesbill.

In our mountains, Cranesbills tend to be more purple
or blue than pink. They have a long bill-like
seed pod that bursts open when it dries out and can
shoot the seeds over 20 feet. The cultivated
geranium is in the same family (Geranaceae), but it
is not in the Geranium genus, but is instead a Pelargonium.