Monday, August 26, 2013

August Weeds of the Damp Meadows

There are two very different weeds compared to those I posted on Friday, that I like at this time of year.  They're both common, and they grow in the damp meadows like on a floodplain, or where there's high moisture in the soil - but not in real wetlands, unlike last Friday's 'weeds', which all grow in dry, gravelly roadsides and slopes.  The first of these is the bright yellow Elecampane, and the second is Joe-Pye Weed.

Elecampane, Inula helenium, in my experience is a large tall plant, usually so tall you can't look down on the flowers to get a picture like this - unless you get out your step ladder!  It's sunflower-like, but with very thin rays extending out from the orangey-yellow centre.   Really quite pretty as a 'weed'.

This is the way I usually see it from the roadside.  Because it's 5-6 feet tall, you're looking at the side of the blooms - but I've seen large patches of meadow down by the river painted in these bright yellow flowers.

It has huge lower leaves, in fact about the biggest of any plant around here.  The leaves can be mistaken for burdock, but these are larger, and longer rather than oval.  We have a small patch of these in a damp corner of our own meadow, where they bloom in mid-August.
 
One of my other favourites at this time of year is Joe-Pye-Weed, which has very bright pink flowers, and again I find this typically growing on the floodplain down by the river, often in large patches of pink, glimpsed through the trees.



It's not as tall as Elecampane, but still a tall plant, usually 3-4 feet, and it's notable for the leaves which appear in a whorl of 4-5 around the stem, making it easy to identify.  This is Spotted Joe-Pye-Weed, Eupatorium maculatum, identifiable by the purple spotted stem according to the flower guide.  Two more signs of late summer and fall soon to arrive!


Linking to Macro Monday:



11 comments:

  1. The don't look like weeds to me! They are lovely.

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  2. These would be wonderful, colourful additions to grassy areas. Lovely.

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  3. Weeds are just flowers where people don't want them. When I was just a little kid my grandmother had a jam jar on a window sill and I used to keep it filled with flowers from the meadow and I am sure that they were primarily what most would have categorized as weeds. They sure made a colourful display, however, and I know that she was always delighted.

    David Gascoigne
    Waterloo, ON
    www.travelswithbirds.blogspot.com

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  4. I don't know the first weed in your post but have seen Joe Pye weed around here. You got some beautiful pictures of them. They really brighten the landscape.

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  5. They are very pretty flowers. What makes a flower a weed? Love the deep color! :-)

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  6. Again, weeds like these are welcome to grow in my yard anytime they want!! Beautiful photos!

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  7. Very pretty! Wild meadows are a match for any garden.

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  8. To me they aren't weeds but beautiful flowers. : )

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  9. Thank you for stopping my blog and for your comment. Thought I'd pop over and see your blog. I really like your photography, plus the reflections photos and the Markdale Fair photos. I believe I'll sign on to follow your blog, and I invite you to follow mine as well.

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  10. Glad you all agree with me that these 'weeds' are nice flowers too. And they grow without me doing any weeding, mulching or fertilizing at all!

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