The color and the scent attracts Bees: Bee Balm is a chosen nectar. People find Wild Bergamot tea soothing as well. By any name they are an American favorite. This native perennial has been used by insects, Native Americans and European settlers for centuries. I enjoy it’s unique flower design.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) graces the walls edge along Lincoln Park’s lakefront pathway. I call this plant by its nickname, “Cornflower“. Typical of many plant names both Chicory and Cornflower identify several unique species. Chicory shown here is an invasive Eurasian weed. Its cheerful blue flower is a welcome sight along an otherwise gray-toned location.
Autumn is a busy time for nature. Perennial plants and insects prepare for the changing, slower, colder, winter months.
New Jersey Tea (Ceanothus americanus) is a part of the prairie terrain in Chicago’s Lincoln Park outside the Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum. The blooms with prolific, pollen-laden anthers caught my attention. If a plant could scream, “Here I am, come visit me” this is what it was silently yelling to passing insects.
Popular with more than insects, during the American Revolution, the leaves became the alternative tea source replacing British varieties. New Jersey Tea has been a long time medicinal choice of Native Indians and a current favorite of herbalists. What will remain unmentioned is that is part of the Buckthorn family whose members include the Common buckthorn (Rhamnus cathartica), an aggressive European invader.
Four different plants have the common name, Rose of Sharon. The images below are example of the species Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus), a shrub, found in North America. It had just finished raining which is evident by the wet blossoms and pollen-loaded, water saturated, and immobile bee.
I admired the blooms for many years along my neighbor’s fence. When I was looking to fill some open space in my garden, she suggested I take a few of the numerous new shoots emerging between the mature shrubs. I did so. My green-thumb gardener, mother, warned me that they can be invasive and I might want to rethink my use of them in my garden. This turned out to be very true. Like other advice from a mother, it took me several years to realize her wisdom. Though I removed the three full size shrubs several years ago, I am still continuously pulling out young sprouts every few weeks all around my garden. They are easy to remove when new sprouts; and good exercise.
The images below are from this dear neighbor’s yard. The upward view on the pink blossom is because the shrub has grown to over eight feet tall and FULL of beautiful blossoms. I am grateful for my wonderful neighbors, and also that there is a wide gravel alley between our two gardens; keeping neighboring seeds at bay.