Fall wildflowers are in full bloom

by Sue Hokanson - Quartz Mountain Nature Park

Fall wildflowers are now blooming. In the yellow are Broomweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae) also known as Broom Snakeweed, Sneezeweed (Helenium autumnale), Common Sunflower (Helianthus annuus) Prairie Sunflower (Helianthus petiolaris) and Maxmillian’s Sunflower (Helianthus maximiliani). The small purple daisy looking flowers are Late Purple Asters (Symphyotrichum patens).

Broom weed has been blooming since June but it wasn’t as noticeable among all of the common sunflowers. Broom weed can poison cattle, swine, sheep and even goats. Cattle may abort early in pregnancy or have stillborn.

Sneezeweed was used to make snuff. The leaves would be dried and inhaled. Sneezing would ensue and any evil spirits inhabiting one’s body would be sneezed out.

Tree leaves are being blown off the tree almost as soon as they change color. Again yellow predominants in the fall foliage. Chittamwood, Cottonwoods, Elms, Hoptrees, Walnuts, Little Walnuts and Western Soapberries all have yellow leaves. Sumac and Poison Ivy leaves are scarlet in color. Virginia Creeper leaves turn more of a burgundy color. Oaks at Quartz Mountain (Blackjack, Live and Post Oaks) just turn brown.

Acorns are raining down as the wind blows. The acorn of the Texas Live Oak is longer and narrower, with a definite point to the tip. Post Oak and Blackjack Oak acorns are much more round. The cap on both Post and Blackjack Oak cover between ¼ and 2/3’s of the acorn. Deer are feeding heavily on the fallen acorns.

by Sue Hokanson

Quartz Mountain Nature Park

Reach Sue Hokanson at sue@quartzmountain.org

Reach Sue Hokanson at sue@quartzmountain.org

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