Hi River Roaders,

Fall officially started today (September 22) at 9:31 AM. August was really hot and wet, but this week has been glorious. Many of our native plants put on their most spectacular show in the fall, and this week we’ll look at plants currently blooming on RRUUC grounds.

Goldenrod (Solidago sp.) is the quintessential fall wildflower. Don’t blame it for allergies though, it just happens to bloom at the same time as ragweed, which is the culprit.

Bees love it!

White Snakeroot (Ageratina altissima) is blooming all around our grounds, including some plants behind the memorial garden that are approaching shrub size. This grows and blooms equally well in sun and shade.

Late Boneset (Eupatorium serotinum), which is common along highways, is also blooming and is also loved by pollinators.

The hillside behind our property is full of the orange flowers of Jewel weed (Impatiens capensis). The wet summer has allowed it to out-compete the many invasive plants on that hillside. It is loved by bees and deer, and I saw a late season hummingbird on it today.

Two weeks ago I shared a photo of our native clematis (Clematis virginiana) flowering on the fence of our vegetable garden. Here are the seed heads.

A Brown Skipper on Blue Mistflower (Conoclinium coelestinum), which is blooming all around our grounds now.

Last but not least, the most satisfying plant I saw this week. Last year, I distributed some seeds of the Carolina elephant’s foot (Elephantopus carolinius) on our grounds, and this week I saw my first flower. It is named for the large basal leaves that I guess resemble elephant feet.

Come take a socially-distanced walk on our grounds. The flowers and pollinators are at peak right now.