Field of Science

Friday Fabulous Flower - nearly last, not the least

The growing season is winding down, but not over as yet.  So far if anything the growing season has been extended a week or so.  But both this FFF and next week's too never have flowered before October, unless conditions have some plant confused, e.g., a yellow azalea has flowered a bit here in September and of course some of our Corydalis has never actually stopped flowering.  Roses are also putting out a few new flowers and so is the Abeliophyllum.  Interestingly enough this late flowering plant is also one of the first plants to sprout in the spring, and so far it has never been frost damaged.  By now the clump of stems is 5-6 feet tall, and drooping if they haven't been staked.  The entire plant is quite toxic, so nothing eats it, (true for many buttercup family members) and helps account for it's common name of wolf bane.  The shape of the flower made by petalloid sepals provides another common name, monk's hood.  This is probably Aconitum napellus, the most commonly cultivated species .

So no herbvorous pests, no pruning, no transplanting (doesn't like being moved).  By October most gardeners have forgotten that they have this plant.  Ours grow well in light shade, and so are sort of in out-of-the-way corners of the gardens.  

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