Thursday, August 27, 2009

It's Milkweed Seed Flinging Time

I drive down my semi-rural roads each year flinging seeds and seed pods from my car windows. Mostly swamp milkweed, white and purple, since uber-slow-to-establish Sullivant's has yet to bloom for me. May they grow along the edges of fields and in gullies and give life to hundreds of monarchs!

Speeking of caterpillars, I had no idea that Zizia aurea (Golden Alexander) was a host plant for black swallowtails. This midwest native gets yellow flowers similar to bronze fennel and grows to about 2-3' tall in moist soil. I just happened to be looking down at the plant that brushed my leg, and there on the end of a stem near the developing seeds was a 3rd or 4th instar swallowtail. Marvelous! Hope it self sows freely.

And today is a sad day. It is August and it is cold. This is Nebraska. It should be 90, not 68 and cloudy with a north breeze. Methinks the asters and goldenrod may just decide not to bloom, and the budding sweet autumn clematis will simply climb off the arbor and scamper south.

6 comments:

patientgardener said...

I did smile at the picture of you throwing seed out of your car window! We have had a terrible summer here as well with only a week or two of reasonably warm weather.

Frances said...

Hi Benjamin, what a fabulous idea! We are more than semi rural, we are wholly rural, is that even a word? I have tons of extra seeds, including some milkweeds, hmmm. Surely your weather will warm back up before frost? Goldenrod is nearly unstoppable, always enduring several frosts before giving up the ghost.

Rosey Pollen said...

I well remember Nebraska being hot and muggy. What happened?
Rosey

Benjamin Vogt said...

PG--This got me thinking, our winter wasn't that bad, not cold for too long. Spring was early and longa nd pleasant. Summer hasn't been teribly hot. So mabye fall, though potentially early, will be long and sweet? Fall is my fav time of year!
Frances--Glad to hear that about goldenrod. I've only witnessed two plants in my first two years, so still very much learning the ropes!
Rosey--Hot, muggy, and windy! In a lot of ways not unlike Minnesota where I grew up, but it is alway windier here. No trees and lake vlleys to disrupt the flow.

Roses and Lilacs said...

I don't have neighbors so my excess seed goes into my pasture (no livestock there anymore). Much of it fails to grow but a few plants have popped up here and there.
Marnie

Wild Flora said...

Way to go, Benjamin Milkweedseed!