Most people see a puddle with a little weedy grass growing out of a crack in the sidewalk/pavement. When I walked past this spot I saw a miniature island paradise complete with sunshine peaking out of a few clouds in blue skies. I am ever the optimist. I look imaginatively at people and things.
Eastern Daisy Fleabane (Erigeron annuus) shows up voluntarily along paths and roadsides. The flowers are thumbnail sized and bloom in bouquet arrangements tempting passersby to capture their loveliness. Today I brought them home as images saved.
Chicory (Cichorium intybus) graces the walls edge along Lincoln Park’s lakefront pathway. I call this plant by its nickname, “Cornflower“. Typical of many plant names both Chicory and Cornflower identify several unique species. Chicory shown here is an invasive Eurasian weed. Its cheerful blue flower is a welcome sight along an otherwise gray-toned location.
This is a member of the lovely vining Morning Glory family, opening its blossoms as the morning light highlights its beauty. However, this species is one of those non-native, Eurasian varieties that is a dreaded invasive visitor in American gardens. Known as Field Bindweed (Convolvulus arvensis) I enjoyed taking its portrait during a morning bike ride along a Lake Michigan pathway in Lincoln Park, far from any cultivated gardens. They appeared a fair distance from a prairie restoration area and were isolated from the golf course by a stone wall making their appearance more tolerable to the native purist. This Bind Weed did emulate its name wrapping around other vegetation proliferating this informal, unplanned area of horticulture.
Emerging Musk Thistle (Carduus Nutans) found along the Grant’s Trail in St. Louis during a morning walk. Beautiful, but untouchable for all its bristles.
For more details see: http://extension.missouri.edu/p/ipm1015
Now, back to nature. Here’s a couple of images of the “lions” that roam freely (and aggressively) in our lawns. The Dandelion (Taraxacum), as a flower, is pretty; take a close look.
This native perennial is aptly named, Frost Aster (Symphyotrichum pilosum). It is one of the last blooming perennials in Chicago-land, ending only when a hard frost sets the stage for winter’s dormancy. The abundance of blooms is magnified by the circumstance that the plant is a rhizome, existing as spreading gatherings of the parent plant. The previous post showed the Frost Aster along the lakefront path in Lincoln Park. Those colonies lived on the side of the wall opposite of Lake Michigan, preferring the dryer environment of a gravel path.
Attention is focused as the sun momentarily spot lights this bouquet. I centered the composition, to emphasize the natural vignette around this vibrant cluster.
May frost come later than sooner.
For more information on Frost Aster: http://www.illinoiswildflowers.info/weeds/plants/fr_aster.htm