Downy Goldenrod, Composite or Daisy family (Compositae), Native
The goldenrods of late summer come in many shapes: plume-like, elm-branched, club-like, wand-like, and
even flat-topped. Downy goldenrod (Solidago puberula) blooms in well filled-out wands that have
a downy look. The flowerheads are somewhat larger than those of many other goldenrods, so it is easy to
see that they are daisy-like. Blossoms at the top of the wand open first, unlike so many other plants
with flower spikes that usually bloom from the bottom up. Downy goldenrod favors sunny, dry, sandy areas.
Asters, Composite or Daisy family (Compositae), Native
September is the month for asters--"stars"--at the Reservoir and everywhere else. Asters bloom abundantly, and there exist many different species of aster, which are often tricky to tell apart. The asters of September are usually blue or purple with bright yellow centers that may turn purple or brown with time. Some species close at night.
Asters at the Reservoir include stiff aster (Aster linariifolius), smooth aster
(Aster laevis), and New York aster (Aster novae belgii).
Common Witch Hazel, Witch Hazel family
According to folklore, forked branches of witch hazel were cut and used as divining rods to find
water underground. The bark of witch hazel has also provided ingredients for soothing skin ointments.
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Copyright © Anne A. Reid, 1999-2002.
Photographs copyright © Garry K. Kessler, 1999-2002.