Sunday, October 19, 2008

Fall Color: DYCs (Damn Yellow Composites)

"Damn Yellow Composites."

In wildflower identification, the Asteracceae family is so large (1100 genera and 20,000 species), that specific identification in the field can be so difficult as to not be worth it. You can figure out it's an Asteraceae easily enough: most members are composite (they have both ray and disc flowers). You can usually identify the color, yellow, and the family, and that's it. (Unless you're lucky enough to have figured out you've got a sunflower) - Sometimes attributed to Lady Bird Johnson.

And even though gardeners hate trying to identify them, we love the way they offer fall flowers even after last night's heavy frost. This particular variety (we are lucky enough our grower knows the variety) is Helianthus 'Low Down' which has a low bushy growth habit (15" to 18" high) and an abundance of blooms.

Pictured behind the Helianthus is another fall favorite Fothergilla (we'll talk more about this one later) and a variegated holly called 'Honey Maid.'

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