Crownbeard (Verbesina Occidentalis)
Crownbeard and happy honeybee
The honeybees are really enjoying it right now, as are the many other insects. The flowers themselves have a rather disheveled look to them, maybe that's why gardeners don't care much for this plant, but the pollinators don't seem to mind. Crownbeard can easily reach six feet tall in dry, partly shaded soil, growing easily in difficult spots. It's even a host plant! (For the Silvery Checkerspot)
Blue Sky Aster (Aster azureus)
One of our many new plants for us this year is Blue Sky Aster. I ordered it from Prairie Moon Nursery back in the spring. It bloomed well for us in it's first year and is gorgeous! Typical of asters, the small 1 inch flowers appear on long airy stems, 2-3 feet tall. I must order more of these next year!
The latest new plant we've found over at Dean is Black Nightshade (Solanum nigrum). Jeff found it and suspected it might be a quality plant, so he snapped these shots with his iPhone.
The berries are more noticeable than the flowers on this shrubby little plant, and presumably have some medicinal value. However, I'm not going to be experimenting with eating anything with nightshade in the name!