ColumbiaMagazine.com
Printed from:

Welcome to Columbia Magazine  
 
























 
The Whitehurst Diaries: Butterfly Weed

As summer ends, annuals get down to business of setting seeds - one wilding plant, the beautiful milkweed or butterfly weed, moved from the horse pasture, is now thriving, in new location with perennials
Click on headline for essay with photo(s)

By Sharon Whitehurst

Each summer comes to its end, and as the days draw in, the annuals in my flower garden get down to the business of setting seeds.


The zinnias have gone shabby, though still vividly colored...handsome from a distance. Many of the dwarf sunflowers have shed their brilliant petals, but the seeds haven't plumped enough to harvest.

The garden draws me, even in this season of its decline.

I note with frustration the weeds that have pushed through layers of mulch, fret over the gaps where some cherished perennials gave up during the heat and drought of July.

My clump of butterfly weed [asclepias tuberosa] had its beginnings as a wildling. In years past I ordered seed of this brilliant member of the milkweed family - seed which never germinated. During our first summer here, I was delighted to recognize the plant growing in vigorous patches in the horse pasture.

I moved a root to my perennial strip, and while it hasn't spread as fast as I expected, it seems well established.

The seed pods are more slender than those of its common cousin, but the seeds are borne on similar silky parachutes, filmy threads which catch the sun as the promise of new life is carried away on the autumn wind. - Sharon Whitehurst


This story was posted on 2012-09-27 06:24:17
Printable: this page is now automatically formatted for printing.
Have comments or corrections for this story? Use our contact form and let us know.


 

To sponsor news and features on ColumbiaMagazine, please use our contact form.

The Whitehurst Diaries: Butterfly Weed I



2012-09-27 - 159 Old Gradyville Church Road, Columbia, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst. Seeds of the butterfly weed are borne on silky parachutes. Sharon Whitehurst
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



The Whitehurst Diaries: Butterfly Weed II



2012-09-27 - Old Gradyville Road, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst. A pod of the butterfly weed split open.
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



The Whitehurst Diaries: Butterfly Weed III



2012-09-27 - Old Gradyville Road, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst. Pods of the butterfly weed are slender. This one has just burst, ready to release its airborne, parachute enabled seed to spread the species.
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



The Whitehurst Diaries: Butterfly Weed IV



2012-09-27 - Old Gradyville Road, Gradyville, KY - Photo by Sharon Whitehurst. Another view of an opened butterfly weed seed pod. It's an annual occurence, usually just as summer is ending.
Read More... | Comments? | Click here to share, print, or bookmark this photo.



 

























 
 
Quick Links to Popular Features


 

ColumbiaMagazine.com content is available as an RSS/XML feed for your RSS reader or other news aggregator.
Use the following link: http://www.columbiamagazine.com/columbiamagazinerss.php.

Contact us: Columbia Magazine and columbiamagazine.com are published by D'Zine, Ltd., PO Box 906, Columbia, KY 42728.
Phone: 270-250-2730 Fax: 270-751-0401


Please use our contact page, or send questions about technical issues with this site to webmaster@columbiamagazine.com. All logos and trademarks used on this site are property of their respective owners. All comments remain the property and responsibility of their posters, all articles and photos remain the property of their creators, and all the rest is copyright 1995-Present by Columbia! Magazine and D'Zine, Ltd. Privacy policy: use of this site requires no sharing of information. Voluntarily shared information may be published and made available to the public on this site and/or stored electronically. Anonymous submissions will be subject to additional verification. Cookies are not required to use our site. However, if you have cookies enabled in your web browser, some of our advertisers may use cookies for interest-based advertising across multiple domains. For more information about third-party advertising, visit the NAI web privacy site.