Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Fall flowers spring forth!

Wildflower Wednesday, hosted by Gail at clay and limestone, gives me the opportunity to showcase a few blooms on the hill today. Thanks to September rains, we do have some wildflowers in bloom.

All the wildflowers I found today have very small flowers. None are showy, except perhaps in masses. These are the hardy survivors. They have persevered through the heat and through the drought.  Now, in their quiet, understated fashion, they lend subdued color to the fall season.

One of our favorite fall wildflowers has poked its blooms above the mulch – the wood-sorrel (Oxalis drummondii).  This beauty likes dry or moist soil, grows in sun or part shade, and forms small colonies in open grassy areas, open woodlands, and brushy areas on calcareous or sandy soils. It is native to Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.  Its leaves resemble clover, and the flowers fold down at dusk and in cloudy weather. While its color is bright, its habit and size mean one must look closely to find it among dried grasses and leaf litter.

White heliotrope is an understory plant here to the broomweed
Of course, the white heliotrope (Heliotropium tenellum) continues to bloom, as it has for most of the summer.

The broomweed (Amphiachyris dracunculoides) has begun blooming. These are about three feet tall, with a bushy habit. These are not at all specific to Texas, but are plentiful here. According to Wildflowers of Texas (Ajilvsgi), early settlers tied the plants to sticks and used them as brooms. Hmm, sounds like a fun thing to try with my daughter . . . 

I also found a mystery flower. The plant is small, with insignificant flowers. Upon closer inspection, and with the use of a camera, one discovers the beauty of those insignificant flowers, which feature sky blue anthers. I cannot find it in my books, so if anyone has a clue what this is – share it with me!

Favorite spot in the garden:

Everything across the front of this bed is blooming at one time! (Don’t look at the stuff behind, none of which is blooming.) From left to right, Gomphrena globosa ‘Fireworks’, remains of some oxblood lily blooms (Rhodophiala bifida), white and purple trailing lantana (Lantana montevidensis), bachelor buttons (Gomphrena globosa), and some stray purple morning glories and tropical sages (Salvia coccinea).


  1. Oh, your front looks so pretty! Love gomphrena. And I love the white and purple lantanas, too. I have an ugly bush kind, but I think the white and purple ones are so much more graceful. Love that purple of the wood-sorrel, too. I wonder if using broomweed as a broom would make the house smell nice. Sounds like a hard way to keep house!

    1. I've never had the lantana bloom so well - and I've discovered they have a fabulous scent. Not so for the broomweed - I smelled it this morning, and it has no scent. Still, sweeping with a flowering plant - sounds kinda magical!

  2. I have a gomphrena that wants to be a groundcover and I don't mind. I am so glad you joined Wildflower Wednesday~I love Texas wildflowers~Really.

    1. Thanks for hosting! I love to show off my Texas wildflowers, and like seeing others' flowers, too.