"Pay attention to the world." -- Susan Sontag

Autumn Mix: Goldenrod, Coneflower, and Anemone (2 of 2)

From “Solidago (Asteraceae)” in Garden Flora: The Natural and Cultural History of the Plants In Your Garden by Noel Kingsbury:

“There are around 150 species of goldenrods, nearly all North American, with a few in South America down to the Southern Cone, and a handful in Eurasia….

“Goldenrods were an essential part of the early-20th-century herbaceous border; a number of hybrids were raised and widely disseminated. By the end of the century, however, the plants had a bad reputation, in Britain at any rate; anything that gets to be seen on railway embankments or badly maintained pony paddocks will soon lose its popularity for the garden. In the United States interest in growing goldenrods was at a peak in the 1920s, as part of a fashion for growing native plants, and during the 1970s interest in them grew again, as part of the revival of interest in natives and habitat restoration….

“In nature they are plants of woodland edge, marshland, and transitional grassland habitats…. All are noted as exceptionally good nectar sources for honeybees and butterflies….”


This is the second of two posts featuring goldenrod and coneflower blooms, shot at higher magnification than those in the previous post (see Autumn Mix: Goldenrod, Coneflower, and Anemone (1 of 2)), along with some new photos of anemone.

Thanks for taking a look!

Autumn Mix: Goldenrod, Coneflower, and Anemone (1 of 2)

From Seeing Seeds: A Journey into the World of Seedheads, Pods, and Fruit by Teri Dunn Chace, with photographs by Robert Llewellyn:

“Autumn is the season of seeds, from acorns to grape seeds to windblown fluff from milkweed, goldenrod, and fireweed. If no one eats a seed, does it automatically grow into a new plant next spring? What is inside a seed? How does it all work? Does it all work, or is there a lot of wastefulness? These are good questions.”

From “A Gardener’s Thanksgiving” in One Man’s Garden by Henry Mitchell:

“Gardeners, as a caste, are usually grateful for blessings. Indeed, it is wonderful how little it takes to make a gardener happy. A rooted sprig of some uncommonly pretty goldenrod will do….”


I often overlook goldenrod when I’m out in the neighborhood plant-hunting, but it got my attention recently. Some of goldenrod’s best blooming takes place in late September through mid-October here in the southeast, and a couple of weeks ago I happened on the mix of goldenrod and coneflower (or black-eyed Susan) featured in the first galleries below. Because we’d had some colder nights, much of the growth behind the goldenrod was starting to turn dark aqua-green, so perhaps that gave the goldenrod an extra punch to my eye, and made the yellow and gold in it and the coneflower look especially fine in the foreground.

Anemone — a tiny flower with perfectly-shaped spherical unopened buds — is always a delight to come across, and photographs nicely close up. The purple/violet color — contrasting with the orange and light green center of the flower — was especially vibrant on these late-bloomers; and even though the petals are a bit ragged around the edges, they still, in my opinion, look pretty good!

Thanks for taking a look!

Autumn Anemones

From 100 Flowers and How They Got Their Names by Diana Wells:

“Anemones used to be called ‘windflowers,’ possibly because they grew on windy sites (anemos is Greek for “wind”)….

“A more compelling derivation is from ‘Naamen,’ which is the Persian for ‘Adonis.’ Anemones were associated with Adonis, with whom Aphrodite (Venus) fell passionately in love when he was born. She tried to protect him from harm by hiding him in the underworld, but was forced by Zeus to share him with the underworld goddess, Persephone. Aphrodite was afraid he might be hurt while hunting, but of course he would not listen to her, so she could only follow him in her swan-drawn chariot….

“One day Adonis tracked down a huge boar and wounded it. It turned on him and gored him. Aphrodite arrived in time to hold him in her arms and weep over him as he died. Some versions of the legend say the anemone grew up from her tears and some that it sprang from his blood as it soaked into the ground….”

Well, another Halloween has come and gone, so I cobbled together this quick set of post-spooky photos, mainly to get the Halloween pictures off my home page. Unlike the Christmas and New Year holidays, Halloween doesn’t seem to linger for long; when it’s over, it’s over (and it’s time to put up the Christmas tree!).

I was fortunate to have captured this rare image of The Great Pumpkin (of the Peanuts tradition) after it completed its October to-do list. Here it is, at rest. I know it’s at rest because I saw it swoop in, land upside down on the bale of straw, then close its mouth and eyes. Snoring may even have been heard. While you are possibly wondering how I’m sure it’s THE Great Pumpkin, I can only say: that’s a REALLY good question.

Here we have two pictures of the less-famous Regular Pumpkin. There was no compelling reason for me to post these photos, except that I liked the contrast between pumpkin-orange and its pumpkin shape, and the dark textured background.

We aren’t yet ready to transition to typical fall colors yet, but last week I did find these dainty anemones catching some fall sun-rays. I’m not quite sure which anemone variety these are; they may be snowdrop anemones, they may be more properly identified as generic Japanese anemones. While some varieties do bloom in the fall, these could as easily be spring or summer varieties blooming in autumn since our summer was warm but not scorching, and fall temperatures stayed in the 50-80 degree range until recently. They may have just kept on blooming through all three seasons.

Thanks for taking a look!

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