As the weather cools into Autumn, more Fall blooming plants are putting on a show!
This one is on the mailbox. After it blooms I cut it back to only a main vine of about three feet. It grows back slowly during the winter and then in the spring takes off and covers any thing near.
After it blooms, it is covered with silvery seed heads. It reseeds easily and volunteers come up around the yard. It’s a great evergreen native vine.
A favorite fall blooming annual, that was collected as seeds by my grandmother in the 70s from a relative’s house on Ocracoke Island, is annual poinsettia. She grew them in her yard in Beaufort, NC. I brought the seed to my parent’s house in Morehead City and then to various gardens where I lived in Greenville during college and, finally, to my garden in Raleigh.
They can become weedy as they tend to reseed. The tops turn red in the Fall just like the Christmas poinsettia and they grow to a height of about three feet with several branches.
Several of the yellow and black garden spiders have built webs in the garden. I have always called them ‘yellow and black garden spider’s. They are actually called Black and Yellow Argiope (Argiope autantia). It’s in the orb spider family which build spiral webs about two feet across.
The one above is near the lamp post and she is very large – at least 6 inches. The picture is out of focus because she is so large I am frightened to get too close to her. She is in a good location as the lamps are on all night and I am sure she is well fed by the moths and various bugs that are attracted to the light.
I think they are beautiful but all spiders creap me out of me!
The dense zigzag of silk in the middle of the web is known as a stabilimentum and is thought to either stabilize the web or help camouflage the spider who rest on the web. The male supposedly builds a smaller web near the female but I have never seen two near each other.
This smaller spider is against the chimney over a passionflower. He is only about four inches from top to bottom.
The approaching Fall and the very hot and humid days of August create a bit of anticipation for the appearance of the Fall blooming bulbs: hurricane lilies (lycoris), Fall blooming crocus (saffron) and the giant Colchicums. They all produce some very beautiful blooms. After blooming, they produce long, strap-like foliage which last until Spring than dies.
I was driving down Clark Avenue, near NC State, yesterday and saw one Hurricane Lily.
Fall is just around the corner!
The Colchicum above is near my front porch. The flower is huge! About a foot tall. It reminds me of a giant crocus!