Joe pye weed September 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | September 13, 2020

By Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter These tall, majestic plants are real butterfly magnets.  Blooming in late summer until frost, they range from 3 to 10 feet tall with dense heads of fluffy pinkish flowers that are usually covered with butterflies, bees, beetles and wasps, all feeding and pollinating.  When in flower, Joe-pye-weeds can be…

Mistflower August 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | August 3, 2020

MISTFLOWER and Monarch Butterflies Conoclinium coelestinum (formerly Eupatorium coelestinum) This is one of the native perennials highly regarded as nectar food for monarch butterflies. The typical life cycle of monarchs includes four flights each year, the third in July-August, and the last September-October that produces a different butterfly, capable of the long migration south. Monarchs…

Mountain mint July 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | August 3, 2020

Mountain-mint Pycnanthemum tenuifolium/muticum By Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter, VNPS What’s not to like about a native perennial that is attractive to bees and butterflies, does not spread aggressively, and is deer-resistant?  Mountain-mints bloom from June through August, with small white flowers rich in nectar that is food for many kinds of insects – butterflies,…

Spiderwort June 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

By Helen Hamilton A long-blooming native perennial like Spiderwort can fit into a lot of spaces in the home garden. Three-petaled flowers form a triangle – they are violet-blue with vivid yellow stamens growing in a 3’ tall clump. Each flower is open for only a day, in the morning, but they bloom in succession…

Red Columbine May 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

By Helen Hamilton This is one of our loveliest early spring flowers, with hanging red flowers that have long spurs and yellow centers. The nectar at the base of the spurs attracts long-tongued insects and hummingbirds. The flowers are mature when migrating hummingbirds appear in our area, and are important food for these little birds,…

Golden Ragwort April 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

By Helen Hamilton Golden Ragwort is a welcome sign of spring, covering swampy areas with bright yellow, from mid-March through early summer. The buds are purple, and open to display yellow disc and ray flowers, unusual for a member of the Aster Family — the rays are often white. This native perennial grows 1-3 feet…

Red Maple March 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | July 22, 2020

  By Helen Hamilton  One of the first signs of spring is the red haze over the bare limbs of our local maple trees. This would be the male and female flowers of Red Maple. Typical of many species, the male flowers appear first as a yellowish pink, closely followed by the darker pink blossoms…

Skunk Cabbage February 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | June 7, 2020

    by Helen Hamilton, John Clayton Chapter   Poking up through the snow is a purple-brown and green mottled hood, which is a modified leaf, 2–5 inches long. Inside is a nearly round flower head with many small, tightly packed individual flowers. They “bloom” when stamens emerge above the four tiny sepals. After the…

Witch Hazel January 2020 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | January 18, 2020

By Helen Hamilton John Clayton Chapter, Virginia Native Plant Society This low-branching shrub or small tree can furnish year-round interest, with winter-blooming flowers. From late fall and into winter, fragrant yellow flowers, each with four, crinkly, ribbon-shaped petals, grow in clusters close to the stem.  Throughout the summer the branches are covered by broad, slightly…

Winterberry Dec 2019 Wildflower of the Month

By VNPS Communications | November 30, 2019

                                                            Winterberry  (Ilex verticillata)                                             …