We haven’t had any cold weather yet, so the plants currently flowering are a mix of autumn stalwarts (Conoclinium, Symphiotrichum, Solidago), tropicals that will continue blooming until frost (Canna, Musa velutina, Abutilon), and a few confused spring bloomers or reblooming plants (Aquilegia, Rhododendron, Hydrangea). For this Six on Saturday, I have selected things that I haven’t shown you before.
1. Phallus ravenelii (Ravenel’s stinkhorn)
The past week has been dampish and warm. We didn’t get enough rain to really soak the soil, but it was sufficient to wake up a stinkhorn. These rude fellows appear in spring and autumn, and they smell as bad as their common name suggests. This one seems to have been munched by a slug or snail during the night, so you can see the honeycomb structure of the stalk.
And yes, the genus name means exactly what you think it does.
2. Symphiotrichum oblongifolium ‘Fanny’ (Fanny’s aster)
Not much to say about Fanny’s aster. It’s a very common autumn flower around here, because it is disease free, drought tolerant, and reliably floriferous. The species is only just native to North Carolina, with records from one western county according to USDA. Nancy Goodwin at Montrose Garden has mastered the art of pruning them at just the right time, so she gets perfect mounds of flowers. My plants tend towards more of a sprawling mess.
3. Rosa ‘Nastarana’ (Persian musk rose)
This climbing rose supposedly came from a garden in Iran, sometime during the late 1800s. I bought it because I am attracted to any plant that reminds me of places where I lived as a child–though I seem to recall that most of the roses we saw in Iranian gardens, like those at the Tomb of Hafez, were red.
I keep it, because it has wonderful fragrance, blooms much of the year, and is resistant to the blackspot fungus that bedevils roses in this climate.
4. Aquilegia canadensis (wild columbine)
Well, this is odd. Of the many hundreds of wild columbines that I have grown in the past fifteen years, I have never before had one bloom in the autumn.
5. Rhododendron stenopetalum ‘Linearifolium’ (spider azalea)
This selected form of a Japanese species is not the most spectacular of azaleas, but its long thin leaves and matching flowers are certainly interesting. It’s the sort of thing you walk past without really noticing, but then a few moments later, you think “what was that?” and turn around to have another look.
My plant blooms in spring and fairly often reblooms in autumn.
6. Hydrangea macrophylla ‘Bailmer’ (Endless Summer Hydrangea)
I much prefer lacecap hydrangeas, but this mophead stays in the garden because of its ability to bloom on new wood. Even if a late freeze kills all the old wood, the new growths bloom in early summer and sometimes rebloom in autumn.
That’s it for this Saturday. This afternoon’s project will be to haul all of my pachypodiums back into the greenhouse for the winter. While I’m doing that you can head over to The Propagator’s blog for more Six on Saturday. If you are interested in participating, see his guide.