Two weeks ago, my last post was about the peak bloom of the Gayfeather and the peak migration of the monarch butterflies.
There is still a little color from the Gayfeather, but it is well past its peak now. It is kind of sad that this plant grows (and takes up garden space) for six months out of the year and only blooms for about three weeks. Even so, it is special when the plants are in bloom because the timing seems to be coordinated with the migration of the monarchs.
There are still a number of monarchs hanging around the garden. Even though there are still a few Gayfeather blooms in the garden, the monarchs have turned their tastes to the Gregg's Mistflower. This monarch has some damage to its wings. It must make the trip to Mexico a little more difficult.
The queen, on the other hand, is dark orange on the outside. It has narrow black lines which are broken up by white dots.
Earlier this year, I bought a different type of mist flower. Blue Mistflower, Conoclinium coelestinum, looks similar to Gregg's Mistflower, however the leaves are rougher and not as deeply cut as Gregg's Mistflower. Blue Mistflower only blooms in the fall and Gregg's usually begins blooming in early summer.
Blue Mistflower is supposed to be a more invasive than Gregg's. My Blue Mistflower is still in a pot because I am not sure how it will behave. I placed the pot next to the Gregg's to see how the flowers compared in attracting butterflies. Blue Mistflower did attract butterflies, but it seemed that Gregg's Mistflower was preferred.
This grasshopper is one of many in the garden. They are everywhere, but don't seem to be doing any damage to the plants.
This is probably my last photo of Gayfeather for 2014. There are still a few more flowering plants in the garden that are waiting for their time to shine. The next one on the schedule is Fragrant Mistflower.