Sunday, July 28, 2013

Mid Summer

There are a couple signs that we've reached the middle of summer--besides the calendar.  The one that really tells me it's here is when Liatris (Liatris punctata) starts blooming.  This is the latest of the purple flowers that bloom on Green Moiuntain, and in the middle of the yellows and golds, these purple spikes  add some needed color.  They're starting to bloom all over the mountain  but haven't reached their peak yet.  Liatris is known as Gayfeather in some parts of the country.  
The other sign of oncoming fall is Goldenrod.  I saw a couple on Saturday, so they're just starting up.  We have a couple varieties on Green Mountain but they look pretty similar.  This one is called Rough Goldenrod (Solidago nana).  The other is Western  Goldenrod (Solidago occidentalis).  The main differences are just what the name implies--the Western Goldenrod can be 18" tall, but has a smooth leaf while the smaller Rough Goldenrod has leaves that feel rough if you run your fingers across them.
Rough Goldenrod
I found a few Nodding Onions (Allium cernuum) yesterday, too.  In the Spring we had a lot of Wild Onions, which have white flowers and stand erect, but this time of year you can occasionally find these Nodding Onions.  They're about the same size--like a small chive, but have pale purple blossoms that flop over.  Look for them in shadier spots, especially on north-facing slopes.  The photo below is a closeup of the small flowers.  The plants are about 8" tall.
Nodding Onion

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