Broken clouds, light snow
Broken clouds, light snow
17.6 °F
December 13, 2017
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The color of late summer

This monarch butterfly is partaking of some Russian sage nectar. This species blooms well into September and attracts a variety of pollinators. I have seen many honeybees on this plant. This image is a few years old, and the hope is we will see more monarchs again in the near future.
TRR photos by Scott Rando

August 31, 2016

With fall coming toward the end of this month, everyone is no doubt thinking of the brilliant colors of fall leaves—and cleaning them up afterwards. However, we still have a lot of colorful late summer foliage that can be seen without too much effort in the form of late flowering plants.

During the last week of August, I found some cardinal flowers still in bloom in some wetlands and on some lake shores, as well as some jewelweed still in bloom. Both of these species attract hummingbirds, as well as a variety of butterflies and bees. A lot of thistle is still flowering; after the seed forms, goldfinches may be seen collecting the seed as thistle is high on their list of favorites.

Even if you are not close to late summer flower habitat, there are many cultivated plants in your or your neighbor’s garden that may be in bloom now. Plants such as the aromatic aster, with its purple flowers, attract a variety of butterflies and other pollinators. If you plant late-flowering plants, research and make sure they are not invasive.

School may be starting soon, and September may be here, but there is still some summer left, so enjoy.