Monday, September 28, 2020

A Farewell Blaze of Glory From Some Fabulous Fall Flowers

Our northeastern wildflower season approaches its close in a blaze of glory! What could rival for radiance the spectacular gold of Jerusalem Artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus), or the rich royal purple of New England Aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae), or the incomparable blue of Fringed Gentian (Gentianopsis crinita)?

There's a big patch of this native sunflower called Jerusalem Artichoke right near a Price Chopper parking lot in Saratoga Springs.  I've been waiting and waiting for this last flower of summer to finally open its gorgeous blooms, and just two days ago it did!  What a parting gift to us, these gloriously golden flowers, offering an entire bouquet of blooms atop each gigantic stem!

New England Aster is another generous autumn bloomer, a flower of incomparably vivid color, offering bursts of brilliant purple along roadsides and open meadows everywhere.

The Fringed Gentian is much more elusive, offering its royal-blue beauty only to those who know where to seek it out.  Its habitat requirements are more particular, for it needs both lots of sun but also a dampish soil, and wet meadows are not that common, usually reverting to wood lots in just a few years. I found these growing at Orra Phelps Nature Preserve in Wilton, where volunteers help the folks at  Saratoga PLAN maintain a habitat suitable for these glorious flowers.


Woody Meristem said...

Beautiful end to summer. Now comes the riot of color in the changing leaves and then the drab of November.

The Furry Gnome said...

All gorgeous flowers!

Unknown said...

Been frequenting the Orra Phelphs trail but haven't seen that beauty yet! Thanks for giving us this education, the beautiful photos, and a deeper view of our words and waterways.

NancePG said...

Lovely colors! There were dozens of Fringed Gentians blooming in a wet meadow at Woodlawn Preserve (in the Schenectady Pine Barrens) ten days ago.