Summer through fall across North America is a time when large numbers of flowers come into bloom. Wildflowers brighten the landscape from July through October in woodlands, pastures, fields, along roadsides, near waterways and even in spots considered to be waste places such as vacant lots. These wildflower species include a selection of colors any artist would take pride in, ranging from yellows to purples. Among them are the common mullein, the morning glory and bugbane.
Among the easiest wildflowers to spot in summer and fall are those that are yellow. Goldenrod occurs in such dense clusters that entire fields may take on their golden yellow hue, especially from late July through September. The mullein is a very sturdy and large plant that upon close inspection resembles a sort of ladder for insects, as they will be all over it from its base of coarse leaves to the top where its small yellow flowers open. Sunflowers are another yellow flower that blooms during the summer-fall period in great numbers, as are yellow coneflowers like the black-eyed Susan. Butter and eggs is an aptly named wildflower that blooms in summer and early fall, possessing a darker orange center representing the “egg” and a lighter yellow outer part that is the “butter.” Other yellow wildflowers that emerge in summer and fall include hawkweeds, sneezeweeds, rabbitbrushes, sticktights, jewelweeds and St. John's wort.
A trip deep into the northeastern woods of the U.S. may allow you a glimpse of a white feathery flower called bugbane, which thrives in moist soils. Pipsissewa is another white flower of the forest that in the summer and fall will blossom in the East and parts of the West. Yarrow grows in fields and along highways with its distinctive aroma and dull-white flowers. Queen Anne’s lace, also called wild carrot, dominates large areas across America with its tall stems and white flowers that mimic a delicate doily. Bedstraws, gromwells, field daisies, mayweeds and the aquatic arrowheads of rivers and ponds are other white flowers you might encounter in the summer and fall months.
Pinks and Purples
Few would associate the gorgeous bell-shaped bloom of a morning glory with a sweet potato, but these plants are relatives; morning glories are often pinkish and blossom in summer and autumn. Purple clover seemingly is out until first frost in many places, while the pink flowers of smartweeds turn into seeds that nourish birds as the winter approaches. The rose gentian of the Deep South smells pleasant and has a yellow center, surrounded by pink petals in the shape of a star. Bouncing bet lights up a field in late summer and early fall with its pink flowers. Gerardias, beggarweeds, loosestrife and joe-pye weed are other purple-pink flowers that develop at these times of the year.
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