Friends of the Wild Flower Garden

Seasonal Photos - Autumn Mix #2

Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden and Bird Sanctuary

Field thistle with bee Bee on coneflower Monarch on a Blazing Star

There is much color in September and so much lingering warmth in October that the transition between them seems less marked in a way than that between any other two consecutive months. The dying of summer’s fire can be a wondrous experience. Former Curator Martha Crone.

In addition to the fall flowers, September and October are busy times for the insects collecting food in the Garden. More photos, identification and descriptive information on each plant is found in the site index. Alternate common names for plants are listed in ( ).

Prairie Sage
White Sage (Prairie Sage, also Western Mugwort). (Artemisia ludoviciana) Family: Aster. Leaves and stem covered with white hair, hence the name. Plant of open dry areas, native to south and western Minnesota.
Northern Blazing Star
Northern Blazing Star (New England Blazing Star) (Liatris scariosa var. novae-angliae). Family: Aster. Upland Garden. Distinguishable by the flower heads being button shaped and not more than 1 1/2 times as long as wide, with a noticeable stalk.
Dense Blazing Star
Dense Blazing Star (Spiked Blazing Star) (Liatris spicata). Family: Aster Upland Garden. Flower heads cylindrical and twice as long as wide, very thin leaves.

Closed Gentian
Bottle Gentian. (Gentiana clausa and Gentiana andrewsii). Family: Gentian. Upland Garden in both sunny and shady areas - color varies. Both species have similar colors and shape. Occurs throughout most of Minnesota along with several other similar species.
Thin-leaved Coneflower
Thin-leaved Coneflower (Rudbeckia triloba). Family: Aster. The last coneflower in the Upland Garden to begin bloom. Rare in the wild - on the MN DNR Threatened List.

Zig Zag Goldenrod
Zig-zag Goldenrod (Solidago flexicaulis). Family: Aster. This plant from the Woodland Garden. Flowers in the leaf axils. Leaves tend to be more oval at lower parts of the stem, which develops a characteristic zig-zag. Found widely in Minnesota except the original dry prairie areas.
Smooth Aster
Smooth Blue Aster (Symphyotrichum laeve). Family: Aster. An aster of the Upland Garden with light violet colored rays. Leaves narrow, 5x longer than wide, stalkless or clasping.
Canada Goldenrod
Late (Tall) Goldenrod (Solidago altissima) .Family: Aster. A plant anyone in Minnesota will usually recognize - a harbinger of fall. Upland Garden.

Nodding Bur Marigold
Bur Marigold (Bidens cernua). Family: Aster. AKA "Beggar-ticks". You may spot these bright deep yellow blooms on the wetland trail. A nice autumn contrast to the spring blooming Marsh Marigold from the Buttercup Family.
Nodding Onion
Nodding Wild Onion (Allium cernuum) Family: Wild Onion. A plant widely distributed across the United States. Upland Garden in several places.

Butterfly Weed
Butterfly Weed (Butterfly Milkweed) (Asclepias tuberosa). Family: Milkweed. Upland Garden. A plant of the dry prairie and sunny woods. Native to Minnesota in the south and east.
Horse Gentian
Horse Gentian. (Triosteum perfoliatum). Family: Honeysuckle. Not a true gentian at all and named for the coarseness of the overall plant, it sports these very conspicuous orange fruit in the leaf axils in late September and October. Upland Garden in several places.
Azure Aster
Sky-blue Aster (Azure Aster). (Symphyotrichum oolentangiense). Family: Aster. A sky-blue variety in the Upland Garden. Leaves stiff, thick, lower stalked with wings, upper stalkless.

A grouping of Plain Gentian (Yellowish Gentian) (Gentiana alba). Upland Garden. Similar in form to the blue Closed Gentian.

Pale Gentian