Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-21-2014

Happy Tuesday to you all!!

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!!

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If you can figure out what I was taking a picture of here, I will send you the booby-prize!!

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Cool thistle heads.

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Helenium autumnale – Sneezeweed… Achooooo!

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Helenium autumnale – Sneezeweed

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Milkweed seeds – Blowing n the wind!

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Gentainella quinquefolia – Stiff Gentian

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I know it is an aster – never seen one with a purple center, tho.

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Solidago nemoralis – Gray goldenrod

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I loved the fall color of this, however can’t ID it. =-(

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More asters I can’t ID.

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Monarda didyma – A bit of a late riser!

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Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-20-2014

Happy Monday Again.
Does it ever become any easier to wake-up and get out of the house on a Monday??

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year.

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Autumn pot annuals

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Grass seedheads!

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Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia creeper

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Aster ericoides – Heath aster

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Catmint and daylily

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Cool annual grass!

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Chasmanthium latifolium – Northern Sea oaks

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 Anemone × hybrida ‘September Charm’

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Oxalis triangularis – False Shamrock

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Ampelopsis brevipedunculata var. maximowiczii ‘Elegans’ - Porcelain Vine

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Tricyrtis formosana – Toad Lily

I love this one, so beautiful!

How Leaves Cha-Cha-Cha-Change Colors For Autumn

Autumn is when every tree is in bloom ~ Ilex Farrell

leavesTo be able to explain why tree leaves change their color in the fall, you must understand the basic physiology of the leaf itself.

Leaves are green because of chlorophylls that function by capturing the sun’s energy and to manufacture food for the plant or photosynthesis. All of this takes place in the plastids (specialized cells). During the growing season, the green color of these chlorophylls masks out all the other colors that may be present. So all you see is green.

As the growing season slows in autumn, chlorophyll production slows and the green-color dominance lowers to reveal the other colors of the leaf. Many influences such as amount of water, sunlight, temperature, and microclimate can manipulate the timing of the color changes.  A couple of weeks of bright sunny days mixed with clear, cool nights seem to bring out the best fall colors.

There are two pigments responsible for fall color:

Carotenoids – provide the yellow, orange, and brown colors.
This one provides the coloring for carrots, corn, and daffodils. Just like chlorophyll, these carotenoids are found in the plastids of the leaf. Some trees that turn hues of yellow or orange are: hickory, beech, black maple, aspen, and birch.

Anthocyanins – responsible for the red and purple hues.
This pigment develops in late summer in the sap of the cells of the leaf. They are created by a response to bright light and too much plant sugars left in leaf cells. Anthocyanins also tint young leaves in spring and allow for the bright colors of red apples, blueberries, cherries, and strawberries. Trees that tend to be colored red to purple are: oaks, dogwoods, red maple, sourwood, and black tupelo.

Both pigments can vary due to many degrees in a leaf, along with outside influences, that cause color ranges that are endless.

Circumhorizontal Arc – Rainbow Halos!!

These rainbows aren’t made from raindrops…
For a Circumhorizontal arc (CA) to be visible, the Sun must be at least 58 degrees high in the sky and where cirrus clouds are present. Additionally, the copious, flat, hexagonal ice-crystals that compose the cirrus cloud must be aligned horizontally to properly refract sunlight in a collectively similar manner. In principle, a CA is a type of halo. These happen a few times a year here in the Midwest. Other lower latitudes don’t get to see these at all.

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Cabbage White – Pieris rapae

These are cute, however I don’t appreciate biting into a larvae that has hidden in my cabbage! Eeeeaw!
Girls have two spots, boys have one. So, this little boy was enjoying sipping nectar from my knautia.
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Larvae feed widely on plants in the family Cruciferae, however occasionally on a few other plant families that contain mustard oils.
Commonly attacked vegetable crops:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Cabbage
  • Cauliflower
  • Collard
  • Horseradish
  • Kale
  • Kohlrabi
  • Nasturtium
  • Sweet alyssum

Adults sip nectar from flowers, and are commonly seen feeding at a number of plants.

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Sadly, within a quarter century of its appearance in this country, rapid and widespread colonization of P. rapae had resulted in massive crop losses, mainly to cabbage. Attempts to control or eradicate the Cabbage White have led to a series of biological debacles. The disastrous consequences are well documented of the widespread use of chlorinated hydrocarbons including D.D.T., during the period following World War II. Of late, a more “progressive” approach has employed the use of biological controls using other organisms, often exotic, introduced species, to parasitize or otherwise prey on the pest organism.
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This is how you do it to it!

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-15-2014

Happy Wednesday.
Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!

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Rodgersia aesculifolia – Rodgers flower

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Same pot from summer – at the train station

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Cool unidentified seedhead – Solidago – Goldenrod

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Liatris spicata – Blazing star

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Grass seed

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Echinacea – Coneflower

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Verbena

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Calamagrostis × acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’

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Malus – Crabapple

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Solidago speciosa – Showy Goldenrod

Autumn Blooming Flowers 10-14-2014

Happy Tuesday!

Click HERE to see what was blooming last year!

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Asparagus seeds

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Helianthus tuberosus – Jerusalem artichoke also called sunroot, sunchoke

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Parthenocissus quinquefolia – Virginia creeper growing on Picea abies – Norway Spruce

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Picea Abies – Norway Spruce cones

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Solanum dulcamara – Bittersweet Nightshade

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Euonymus fortunei ‘Colorata’ – Wintercreeper – Beautiful fall color

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Euonymus alatus ‘Compactus’ – Burning Bush 

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Pyrus calleryana ‘Chanticleer’

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Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’ – These don’t normally turn this pink tinge. Very cool tho!!

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Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Dog in the Storage Shelf

Happy Native American Day!!
Mr. Christopher Columbus was a very bad man. Read about his true story and how he treated the people around him.

We had some nasty, autumn storms come through last weekend. I’ll be cutting down (storing) the magical, miracle sunflower soon so I can bring it out this winter for the furries and featheries to snack upon it.

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So?

Where does my Breck go for safety? Our storage shelves work for him!!

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© Ilex – Midwestern Plants

The Old World Swallowtail (Papilio machaon)

The Old World Swallowtail (Papilio Machaon) is widespread and common throughout most of the northern hemisphere. Although in some countries, the Swallowtail and its subspecies are endangered. Papilio machaon is protected by law in six provinces of Austria, Romania, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Moldova. The species is protected in the United Kingdom, and subsp. Papilio verityi is protected in India.

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Swallowtail are highly adaptable, utilising a variety of habitats including:
• Sub-arctic tundra in Canada
• Prairies and woodlands in the south of North America
• Hay meadows, roadside verges, river banks and sub-alpine pastures in Europe
• High montane habitats in the Atlas mountains of North Africa
• Semi-cultivated habitats in the Mediterranean area
When Linnaeus first created the System Naturae, Papilio was the only genus name used for every species of butterfly. Things have been a bit more organized since then! Only about 215 of the 17600 currently known species have remained in Papilio genus.

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Plant It and They Will Come!
Female’s seek out plants of family Umbelliferae and Asteraceae family to deposit eggs on, as it is their favourite food. The food plants of the swallowtail North America are more varied than in the UK.
• Wild carrot / Queen Anne’s Lace (Daucus carota)
• Wild angelica (Angelica sylvestris)
• Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
• Hogweeds (Heracleum)
• Wormwood or sagebush (Artimesia)
• Butterbur (Petasites hybridus)
• Cow parsnip (Heracleum)
The young caterpillar is black, marked with a stripe of white. It looks strangely like bird poop as it sits on leaves. When mature in July, it is a most colorful – bright green, marked with narrow black bands and orange spots. Behind it’s head is an eversible fleshy pink forked structure called an osmaterium, which is raised if the larva is alarmed. This organ emits pungent chemicals, capable of deterring ants, wasps and flies, however not birds, who find them a nice snack.
The chrysalis is attached vertically by a thin silken thread, usually low down on the stem of the host plant, where it hibernates until the following spring.

Chenille de Grand porte queue (macaon)" by Didier Descouens

“Chenille de Grand porte queue (macaon)”  by Didier Descouens

© Ilex – Midwestern Plants