1. This week’s six begin with the flower in the featured image, Althea, or Rose of Sharon, or Hibiscus syriacus, whichever name you might prefer. I’m sure I have documented these blooms–even with bees–before, but this time I want to note the great variety of color of the flowers. There are many of these shrubs in the garden, most of them having grown up where they will, and sporting unpredictable flower color and veining. Below is a gallery of those colors ranging from purple to light pink to white. My favorite is the light pink that is almost peach colored in the sunlight. Regardless of their shade, they are are bee and butterfly favorites.
2. The next two are wildflowers. One is a favorite. One is a annoyance. The annoyance first. Elophantopus tomentosus is a Southeastern native and easily recognizable by its large basal leaves, which I suppose inspired one of its common names, Elephant’s Foot, or Wooly Elephant’s Foot in the Alabama Plant Atlas. Its other common name is Devil’s Grandmother, and I have no idea how it got that name. The blue aster-like flowers are rather attractive but diminutive and short-lived.
3. Now the favorite: Whiteleaf Mountain Mint or Pycnanthemum albescens. This tall herbaceous native has a very pleasant fragrance, and even though the flower heads are subtle, they are set off by a framing of the silvery white leaves. They are almost always covered with a variety of flying insects; this week I was able to capture photographs of two photogenic ones, a Bumble Bee and a Red-banded Hairstreak.
4. Considered an northeastern Asian invasive vine in some States, Clematis terniflora, or Autumn Clematis is stunning this year. It has a fragrance similar to honeysuckle. The first two photos below come from a patch I have growing controlled in the wooded area of the garden. The third photo is of an abandoned tennis court in a lot next to mine. It clearly shows how it can be considered an invasive!
5. Oakleaf Hydrangea volunteers have appeared among the stones around my fire pit. As they have been getting big enough to transplant, I’ve been potting them. It won’t be too long before I can pass them on. The second photo below includes one I potted about a year ago. In it you can see the transformation of the young leaves toward the characteristic oak leaf shape.
6. There is a fairly large pot of thriving Tickseed Coreopsis on the back deck that is attracting butterflies. So, this was a good butterfly week for me, and I was able to capture this Gray Hairstreak. On Wednesday the 19th I posted a photo of the caterpillar of the Gray Hairstreak that had taken on the purple color of the flowers of the Thicket Bean Vine it was feeding on. It was good to get a photo of an adult this week.
That completes my six for this Saturday, but there are many more lovely plants to be seen at the site of The Propagator and the many visitors that leave comments there.