What’s blooming in Dawn’s yard? American witch hazel

Blog post by Dawn Weber
Board Member-at-Large, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Photos by Dawn Weber and Kathy Bildner 

Close-up of witch hazel bloomPlant name:
American or common witch hazel (Hamamlis virginiana)

Witch hazel grows as a multi-stemmed shrub or a small tree, as large as 15-20 feet high and wide. 

It will flower best in sunnier spots, but can tolerate a fair amount of shade. Witch hazel grows best in moist, acidic, rich soil but ​tolerates average soil moisture, clay soil, and even poor drainage.

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What’s blooming in Betty’s yard? Obedient plant

Blog post and photos by Betty Struckhoff
Member and former Board member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter
Master Gardener

[Editor’s Note: To give you a more accurate idea of blooming time, Betty submitted this blog post with photos on September 8.]

Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)

Plant name:
Obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana)
(also called false dragonhead)

Fair warning – This plant spreads profusely by seed, although the seedlings are easy to yank.

Obedient plant grows 3 to 5 feet tall, likes moist spaces, and blooms August to September.

The blooms tend to be a dark pink in sun and can shade to almost white in part shade.  (There is a cultivar that is pure white.)

Why I chose this plant:
I fell in love with obedient plant when I saw drifts in the Savanna planting on the west side of Forest Park, behind the Art Museum.

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What’s blooming in Besa’s yard? Seedbox

Blog and photos by Besa Schweitzer
Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Two yellow flowers

Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia)

Plant name:
Seedbox (Ludwigia alternifolia)

Seedbox is a raingarden plant that provides good texture when planted with red and blue Lobelias and sedges.

This plant has excellent fall color and winter interest.

It grows about 2-feet tall and 3-feet wide.

It will self-seed but does not crowd out other plants in my experience.

Why I chose this plant:
I plant seedbox because of the seed head. It is a tiny box with a small hole for the dust-like seeds to sprinkle out of. The seed heads will persist through the winter and look very cute with their snow caps. Also, it provides structure for a raingarden to keep the soil covered. The red fall color is amazing.

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What’s blooming in Fran’s yard? Blue lobelia

Blog and photos by Fran Glass
Secretary and Membership Chair, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Blue flowers

Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitca)

Plant name:
Blue lobelia (Lobelia siphilitca)
(also called blue cardinal flower or great lobelia)

This Missouri native perennial is clump-forming. It grows about two feet tall with showy flowers in August and September.

Why I chose this plant:
I so enjoy the beautiful blue color and unusual shape of the flowers.

Bumble bees

The Xerces Society guide, Attracting Native Pollinatorscalls it “an exceptional bumble bee plant.”

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What’s blooming in Penny’s yard? Missouri coneflower

Blog and photos by Penny Holtzmann
Board Member and Treasurer, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Yellow flowers

Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

Plant name:
Missouri coneflower (Rudbeckia missouriensis)

This perennial occurs on limestone glades in the Ozarks and tolerates all the heat and drought that our Midwest summers can throw at them.

Missouri coneflower only grows about two feet tall and looks formal enough to put in your front yard. Its profusion of bright yellow flowers are most welcome in late summer.

This plant provides good cut flowers to bring indoors. 

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What’s blooming in Besa’s yard? Lizard’s tail

Blog and photos by Besa Schweitzer
Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus)

Plant name:
Lizard’s tail (Saururus cernuus)

This plant is found in rain gardens and ponds. Lizard’s tail colonizes wet soil. It gets it’s name from the white drooping flower stalk you can find June through September. It’s arrow-shaped leaves grow on stems that can grow to two feet tall. 

Why I chose this plant:
I like the way the plant smells. It has a licorice scent when you break a leaf or disturb the soil, which is a nice break from the anaerobic smells you usually get when messing around with pond plants.

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What’s blooming in Fran’s yard? Ninebark

Blog and photos by Fran Glass,
Secretary and Membership Chair, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

White flower clusters

Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius) in bloom

Plant name:
(Physocarpus opulifolius)

This plant has showy clusters of white flowers in May and June.

Height is 6-9 feet.

Ninebark is a deciduous, Missouri-native shrub with arching canes and exfoliating bark which reveals layers of reddish to light-brown inner bark on mature stems. The bark provides winter interest as it peels away.

Why I chose this plant:
I chose ninebark because it can tolerate such a wide variety of conditions. It serves the purpose of a beautiful screen between my yard and that of the neighbors. Ninebark is a Missouri Botanical Garden (MOBOT) Plant of Merit.

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What’s blooming in Kathy’s yard? Wild geranium

Blog and photos by Kathy Bildner
Member, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Light purple pink flower

Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Plant name: Wild geranium (Geranium maculatum)

Description: This plant is a perennial spring woodland flower.

Wild geranium blooms mid-April to mid-May. It’s flowers have five pink petals rounded or slightly notched on the top. The fine veins in the flower point to where the pollinators need to go. There can be two to nine flowers in loose clusters.

The green leaves are wider than long, deeply lobed five to seven times with hairy stems one-foot tall. The flower stems stick up above the leaves. 

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What’s blooming in Prem’s yard? Nannyberry

By Premsri Barton
Member and Program Committee Volunteer, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Large cluster flower

Nannyberry’s (Viburnum lentago) showy flower clusters

Plant name: Nannyberry, sheepberry, sweet viburnum (Viburnum lentago)

Description: This plant is a native large shrub or small tree in Northeastern and Midwestern states. It’s also found from southern Canada to Kentucky and Virginia. It has large clusters of small flowers, which are very showy.

Why I choose this plant: It’s a very tough small tree! It grows back after I cut the whole thing down to the ground and has very profuse blooms. The beautiful shining green leaves turn copper-orange color in the fall. It will bear fruit that many birds like. It’s edible too! This is the first year it bloomed for me, and I can’t wait to try the berries.

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What’s blooming in my yard? Mexican plum

By Besa Schweitzer
Webmaster, Wild Ones – St. Louis Chapter

Photos by Darla Preiss

White flower

Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)

My Mexican plum just started to bloom around March 1. The flowers continue…

Plant name: Mexican plum (Prunus mexicana)

Description: Height: 15-20 feet, width: 10-15 feet
A small tree that refuses to grow straight and will form a colony from suckers if you let it. White fragrant flowers in early spring turn to a medium size plum in late summer. This tree has orange fall color with reddish grey peeling bark on the main trunk.

Why I chose this plant: This plant is edible, native, and beautiful! Plums make an excellent chutney if you can get them before the birds.

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