This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

More flowers and weeds

Last week I noticed that the ground disturbed by the new water main had been smoothed and graded. Next year, and maybe even a bit this year, plants will begin to colonize this new territory. The plants that grow there next year may be quite different from the plants that will be growing there in five years.

I like Matheson because there are intersting plants growing along it. In the late summer there are many sunflowers on the west side. There had been many stands of prairie dock on the east, but they now have been mowed.
There are several different kind of wild sunflower. I think these are sawtooth sunflowers. The shape of the leaves and the purple stems are consistent with sawtooth sunflowers, but I may be wrong. (I rely heavily on the website www.illinoiswildflowers.info to identify what I find along the roads.)
The plants above were on Airport Road, as were the flowers below. These, however, had green stems. I do not know if they are a different kind of sunflower or just slight variation.
Compared to goldenrod, sunflowers look easy. There are more than a dozen different kinds of goldenrod that grow in the eastern U.S., and the variations look very small to me. I will work on easier plants before I start trying to make sense of goldenrod.

I found this old enemy growing several places. It is horse nettle, a native perennial. In past gardens it was a nuisance because it sprouted from old pieces of root and its thorns made it hard to pull.
One of the plants I found recently and was able to identify (I think) is biennial gaura. I had not encountered it before I found it on Airport Road.
Soon the late summer flowers will be fade and fall will be here. Enjoy the warmth and color of the season while you can.

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