Early Fall Flowers
Early fall brings blooms in both the natural grasslands and courtyard gardens. All of the flowers were found and photographed in my own yard. The Purple Asters grow in the wild, open area; the Lantana, Salvia, Marigold, and Daylily in the courtyard and hanging gardens.
Nikon D500, Tamron 18-400 mm
ON1 Photo RAW 2019.6
(Bigelow’s Tansy, Sticky Aster)
Aster Family, Asteraceae
Annual or biennial, 20-40 in. tall, widespread in open meadows and along roadsides, in ponderosa pine up to mixed conifer forest, 7,000-9,000 ft. One of the most common, colorful wildflowers of the Sandias and Manzanos in late summer well into autumn. This and other closely related Machaeranthera spp. used by Hopi, Navajo, Zuni, and Pueblo Indian tribes as an emetic decoction for upset stomach; whole plants used as a dry power to stimulate sneezing to clear nasal congestion. Used by Hopi as a strong stimulant, especially for women in labor. Ground petals mixed with white clay used by Acoma as a dye for wool.
Lantana's aromatic flower clusters (called umbels) are a mix of red, orange, yellow, or blue and white florets. Other colors exist as new varieties are being selected. The flowers typically change color as they mature, resulting in inflorescences that are two- or three-colored. Some species are invasive, and are considered to be noxious weeds. The spread of Lantana is aided by the fact that their leaves are poisonous to most animals and thus avoided by herbivores, while their fruit is a delicacy for many birds.
Mint Family, Lamiaceae
Salvia (also known as sage) flower for a long time; grow well in hot, dry conditions; and they provide a variety of bloom shapes, color, and fragrance. Part of the mint family (Lamiaceae), salvias have square stems and velvety leaves. Hummingbirds and butterflies love salvia’s tubular flowers.
French Marigold (Bounty Variety)
Marigolds are the spendthrifts among annuals, bringing a wealth of gold, copper, and brass into our summer and autumn gardens. The flower’s popularity probably derives in part from its ability to bloom brightly all summer long. Marigolds have daisy- or carnation-like flowerheads that are produced singly or in clusters. Although there are some 50 species of Marigolds.
Hemerocallis means “beauty for a day”
The Daylily really is easy to grow, virtually disease and pest-free, and able to survive drought, shade, and poor soil. Daylilies are perennial plants, whose name alludes to the flowers which typically last no more than 24 hours (about a day or so). The flowers of most species open in early morning and wither during the following night, possibly replaced by another one on the same scape (flower stalk) the next day.
Purple Aster flower information from:
Wildflowers of the Northern and Central Mountains of New Mexico Sangre de Cristo, Jemez, Sandia, and Manzano,
By Larry J. Littlefield & Pearl M. Burns