Sunday, October 21, 2012

A Seedscatterer Looks at Native Seeds

Come with me to see Natives in the meadows, mostly going to seed now that nights are cool.

Tricorn-shaped seed bracts hold seeds of Elephant's Foot
I wasn't gathering seeds, I was just looking at where they grew this year and the variety of changes that occur. Some  years Rabbit tobacco is the featured flower; this year in short supply.
Rabbit Tobacco and Bluestem grass
Agalinis is almost done blooming and seeds are plentiful.
Last year's seeds blew from west to east, self planting beside a mown path.
A yellow aster and Erigeron dot the meadows.

Eupatorium capillifolium above, and below a closer look at the seed heads.
Dog Fennel, or Summer Cedar,
depending on where you live.
More Elephantapus seeds. Its leaves are flat to the ground.

Somehow I caught myself in the mirror when I was intent on
these grasses.
Silk Grass still in bloom, with seeds already formed.
Some years back, Vervain was plentiful and
butterflies flocked to it. Scarce this year.
I love the light shining through the trees to backlight grapevines that are
turning yellow. Much of our fall color is from vines including the red leaves
of poison ivy. 

Sumac is one of our brightest reds. Deer tend to keep them pruned back.
I saw no Sumac seeds, but seedling trees are plentiful.
Back at the house, there is a good supply of Dogwood seeds.

I never tire of photographing Dogwoods in bloom, and seeds.

This one volunteered by the pumphouse a few years back
probably planted by a bird; they help with propagation by
running the seed through their gullet to prepare it to grow.
 I transplanted the seedling out where it would have more room.
Dogwoods easily grow to a ten foot tree in a few years.
For some reason, there are no dogwoods along patches of woods in the meadows. Last year I gathered dogwood seeds and tossed along woods' edge in hopes they might start. This year I may try poking the seeds into the ground with a stick, which worked well in the flower garden. 


  1. Beautiful area you live in, I particularly like the dogwood and I miss seeing wild grape vines.
    What plant is that in the 5th photo?

  2. I was hoping everybody would admire my common pasture weed, Dog Fennel, and pass on by, lol.

    Eupatorium capillifolium: Mama called it 'Summer Cedar' and we children used it to build huts before it bloomed.

  3. Weeds, wildflowers, whatever you call them, I just love the wild meadow flowers!

  4. I stopped by to see if you'd posted anything about the weather. How are things there? I've been hearing rough forecasts for further north of you.

    I enjoyed seeing the native plants you posted about. I especially like the eupatorium.

  5. The tricorn seeds of the Elephant's Foot are rather fun. For us an Elephant's Foot is a succulent with a thick chunky corky base, which does look like an elephant's foot after years of growing.

  6. I enjoyed your post about the natives in your meadow. I liked the rabbit's tobacco and summer cedar.

  7. Luv the picture of the tall yellow Aster growing in the mostly brown meadow. Sumac is one of my favorites around here in the fall.

    Hope the weather doesn't give you too much trouble.

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  9. Dearest NellJean,
    You got lots to show on your property! That red Sumac is in fact the most poisonous plant around. Striking colors though!
    In the 90s I ended up at the emergency with severe allergies from something poisonous in our wood garden. I've worn a cotton glove with a latex glove over it for pulling the weeds with my left hand ever since. No more problems like back than. Thank goodness.
    Enjoy your fall garden and stay healthy.
    Hugs to you,

    Your snake suggestions I did trace earlier but it is kind of blueish and that is not showing anywhere. Who knows?

  10. You said something I noticed this year as well. Many of the wildflowers were not present, let alone blooming. And even less, seeding. You mentioned Vervain as scarce, but the meadows up here were very devoid of color.

  11. Hello Nell,

    I love your colorful photos of the native plants very much.

    Good News!!! You won my book giveaway for "The Unexpected Houseplant." I sent you an email yesterday. Could you email me your mailing address? Just clink the email link on my sidebar :-)

    Noelle / azplantlady


I look forward to comments and questions and lively discussion of gardening and related ideas.

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