September 20
Cut-leaf Coneflower (
Rudbeckia laciniata)
Jewelweed (
Impatiens capensis)

This perennial native coneflower likes moist areas such as stream banks. The yellow daisy-like flowers appear in late summer and early fall, visited by butterflies such as the Cloudless Sulpher in the painting.

You may also find, blooming there, Jewelweed, an annual whose orange flowers attract hummingbirds. The juice in Jewelweed stems can ease the rash of poison ivy or the irritation of an insect bite.

Those juicy stems are often host to another annual, dodder (
Cuscuta gronovii), a parasitic plant. Seeds from last year’s pretty little white flowers sprouted in early summer and grew until the host plant was found. The fragile yellow or orange string-like stems then scrambled up that host plant, attaching themselves by sucker-like feet. They abandoned their own roots, and now live quite well, without leaves or any green color, at the expense of their host. By the end of summer, dodder can blanket a whole garden area with orange threads looking for more host plants. It is one of the few native plants that are not welcome in my garden. (Another is poison ivy!).

(Click the picture for a larger image)
(Prints and Note Cards)