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Old 11-10-2011, 11:24 AM   #1
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Default Native plant grower discusses seasonal perennials

Native plant grower discusses seasonal perennials
September 28, 2011|Kathy Van Mullekom | Diggin' In

Fall perennials: Think goldenrods and asters for autumn blooms; ragweed, not goldenrod, causes sneezing fits - Daily Press
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Here, Green profiles three fall-flowering native perennials you may like in your yard:

Gray goldenrod, or Solidago nemoralis. Ornamental and well behaved, it produces soft gray mats of foliage that rise to arching wands of yellow August-September. The goldenrod grows 2 feet tall, tolerates drought and poor soils and likes full sun for best blooms. All goldenrods are important late-season nectar sources for butterflies...
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:17 PM   #2
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My garden seems to be heavily late summer / autumn bloom centered. With the grasses and the flowers and all these unusually warm days and a summer with plentiful rain summer lingered long. The latest blooming plant in our garden has been White Snakeroot Ageratina altissima
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)

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White Snakeroot has been reassigned recently to the genus Ageratina, although it is still often referred to as Eupatorium rugosum. Normally, White Snakeroot is largely hairless, although some authorities describe a pubescent variety of this species. White Snakeroot resembles many of the white-flowered Eupatorium spp. (Bonesets), but these different species can be distinguished from each other by the appearance of their leaves. Among the species in this group, White Snakeroot has the broadest leaves; its lower leaves are cordate or broadly ovate, and these leaves have long petioles. White Snakeroot usually occurs in and around shady woodlands, while many of these other species are found in prairies and sunny wetlands.
And the perennial sunflowers as well as a couple of asters and the late blooming liatris/rough blazing star which does not start to bloom until late September/October.

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Narrow-leaved sunflower, or Helianthus angustifolius. Growing 6-feet tall, the sunflower blooms in October, and provides nectar for butterflies and seeds for birds.
It prefers moist soil and full sun. The plant does OK in short droughts, as well as occasional flooding and salt.

Our garden is an ongoing learning experience. Savanna plants that do well with some canopy and some open to full sun areas and a very high moisture level except on the bordering slopes where plants that prefer good drainage and sometimes very dry soil do best. Even such a small urban garden has many different conditions to consider.

It is good to see more information on such an important group of plants.
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Old 11-12-2011, 12:44 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
My garden seems to be heavily late summer / autumn bloom centered. With the grasses and the flowers and all these unusually warm days and a summer with plentiful rain summer lingered long. The latest blooming plant in our garden has been White Snakeroot Ageratina altissima
White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima)
So far, my yard seems predominantly spring and (like yours heavily weighted) late summer/autumn blooms. I'm thrilled to have so much nectar available in the fall (and I should and will add wider variety of species), but I feel there are some pretty huge gaps in late spring and early summer. I'd love suggestions of what I can grow in my meadow (and elsewhere) in the months prior to fall.

As for the white snakeroot, I have some that I got from my brother. I like it much better than the boneset (but I will include this as well--ONE volunteered last year, and I collected seed from it this year). I'm hardly a botanist (despite being called "Junior Botanist of the Year" by my next door neighbor while growing up)...but, I can see the similarities of the flowers to that of the ageratum.

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Originally Posted by Gloria View Post
Our garden is an ongoing learning experience. Savanna plants that do well with some canopy and some open to full sun areas and a very high moisture level except on the bordering slopes where plants that prefer good drainage and sometimes very dry soil do best. Even such a small urban garden has many different conditions to consider.
Sharing your experience on a thread here would likely benefit a lot of us. Our property has a slope to it and a (natural?) terracing as well, so I'm rather interested in what you've learned about these microclimates (not sure I'm using the term correctly...someone let me know if I'm not ).
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