Thursday, March 15, 2012

Yellow Is The Color of My Prairie

My prairie goes through seasonal color changes as plants come in and out of bloom. The cycle makes for an ever changing kaleidoscope of colors. The dominant color right now is yellow.

The bright yellow flowers of Four Nerve Daisy, Tetraneuris scaposa, continue to fill the front prairie. Their flowers are held high above the foliage. Also in bloom is Salvia greggii. Near the Salvia is one of the first Bluebonnets, Lupinus texensis, to bloom this season.

Golden Groundsel, Packera obovata, is a woodland groundcover that blooms in late winter/early spring. This patch grows at the base of a Possumhaw Holly, Ilex decidua, and receives full sun. Another patch under a red oak tree has more competition from other plants and is not as vigorous. 

Here is a close up of the flowers. When the flowers dry and go to seed, they will look similar to little dandelions. New plants start from the roots. As far as I know, I have not had any new plants grow from seeds.

The flowers of Stemless Evening Primrose, Oenothera triloba, open in the evening. Their buttery yellow flowers dot the backyard prairie.

This is an annual flower that reseeds readily. I removed a few plants this year because they were so dense and I was concerned that they would inhibit the growth of other plants. 

There are fewer of the spicy scented Buffalo Currant, Ribes aureum, flowers this year. Last year, the four feet tall and wide shrub died to the ground due to the drought. A few suckers are all that survived. 

Large flocks of Cedar Waxwings, with their yellow bellies and yellow tipped tail,  are still flying around the prairie. They are eating every last berry off of all of the trees and shrubs in the neighborhood and will move on once their food supply is exhausted. This one is resting between meals in my Redbud tree,  Cercis canadensis, while the rest of the flock hangs out in surrounding trees. This photo was taken through a window and was the best I could get.

The oak trees are beginning their annual ritual of dusting everything in sight with a greenish yellow layer of pollen. I feel a sneeze coming on.


  1. Nice capture of the waxwing. Had a couple of them by the other day. The four nerve daisy looks ready to go. Nice captures.

  2. That ribes aureum is wonderful! Is it really spicy scented? How does the fruits taste like? Your prairie looks amazing in yellow, and you are right about oenotheras as they all tend to become a little weedy sometimes but they always look cheerful to me!

  3. I keep trying to snap photos of invading hordes of waxwings in the soapberry tree out back with about the same luck. They do hang around and upside-down and everywhere. Thanks for the flower IDs.

  4. Your prairie looks great.
    When we lived in the Metroplex, the waxwings came through in April. They seem early this year. Maybe Spring is really here.
    I love that evening primrose, too. Another beautiful yellow plant.
    Have a great weekend.

  5. Love the yellow of your garden! And I appreciate all the information on these plants. The primrose is just gorgeous. As is that cedar waxwing. I hope your buffalo current recovers this year, and that we don't have another drought!

  6. Looking very nice indeed! I used to have Four Nerve Daisy - I need to add it back into my beds. btw--- your question about the Golden Groundsel - I let Purple Jew take over the bed after the Groundsel is gone. The area is in bright light so the P.J. helps shade it.

  7. I like it! No mowing, no weed and feed, no jet engine noises from edgers. No pollution! No yard crew trampling your flowers. No extra water in Spring.
    Your yard is a nice place to enjoy the wildflowers and nature. And you're rewarded with wildflowers that take you up on the offer of 'free room and board' and increase every year....why don't more us do this? You are indeed leading the way! Keep it up, my friend.

  8. I've just discovered your incredible blog whilst hopping around. Your garden is quite stunning. I am not familiar with this particular evening primrose. I wonder if I could grow Oenothera triloba here in the UK?


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