Hypericum prolificum, or Shrubby St. John's Wort, is a visually captivating shrub with its bright yellow flowers.
I photographed the flowers of Shrubby St. John's Wort (Hypericum prolificum) during a tour of the large meadow at Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
St. John's Wort is a perennial shrub indigenous to the central and eastern regions of the United States and Ontario. Its habitat is diverse - slopes, thickets, swamp edges, and oak woodlands. Our tour guide explained that St. John's Wort is a shrub that can reach heights up to 2 meters (6 feet 7 inches). Its leaves are elliptic to oblanceolate, and the flowerheads display a captivating array of 1 to 9 flowers. These flowers have five golden yellow petals and numerous stamens.
I learned that in its naturally mounded form, Shrubby St. John's Wort leaves can be easily pruned into a pleasing, rounded shape in early spring. This shrub comes alive throughout the summer with yellow flowers, attracting many pollinators. Its brown, 3-chambered seed capsules persist even in winter, providing food for winter birds and adding late-season visual interest.
Shrubby St. John's Wort's growth rate is slow but blooms from June through September. It loves full sun and can flourish in nearly any soil, including the heavy clay in my area near Rocky Hill. Remarkably drought-tolerant, it also has the advantage of being resistant to rabbits and deer. I need to find a way to plant this in my small garden.
Shrubby St. John's Wort plays a crucial role as a larval host plant for several species of butterflies and moths, including the Gray Hairstreak butterfly and the Wavy-lined Emerald moth.
This native plant attracts pollinators and thrives in sunny, well-drained gardens, making it an excellent addition to any backyard.
I photographed Purple Beebalm during a July visit to Bowman's Hill Wildflower Preserve in New Hope, Pennsylvania.
Purple Beebalm, or Wild Bergamot, is a native New Jersey and Pennsylvania plant valued for its purple-pink flowers that attract pollinators like bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies. Our meadow tour guide mentioned that anyone can grow it in their garden. Gardeners must ensure the plant gets enough sunlight and is planted in well-drained soil.
It's a low-maintenance plant and can be propagated through seeds or divisions. He mentioned that the plant is aggressively self-sowing, so he recommends planting in a small patch of dirt in the backyard to prevent uncontrolled spreading. I planted some in the backyard this summer. Not only will it look great, but it will also make my garden a buzzing haven for pollinators!
My Blue-eyed Grass plants produce flowers that are more purple than blue.
Since I had "rediscovered" my MCEX-16 macro extension tube and had just completed photographing the lepanthes telipogoniflora in my wabi-kusa forest terrarium, I turned my attention to the small purple flowers growing in my container garden of native plants.
The Blue-eyed Grass, a perennial flowering plant native to New Jersey, tends to be overlooked in some gardening circles. The online descriptions and photos feature a plant with petite blue flowers and yellow centres blooming on stalks above grass-like leaves. But the flowers on my blue-eyed grass plant appear more purple than blue. This is not a trick of the light or an incorrect white balance on my camera sensor. To my eyes, the flowers appear to be a deep shade of purple.
Blue-eyed grass blooms from late spring to early summer. The plant forms small clumps of grass-like leaves that can slowly spread, serving as a ground cover and helping to retain moisture in the soil.
Blue-eyed Grass thrives in consistently moist soil but can tolerate some drought once established. My patio planters have a basin at the bottom that catches and retains rainwater. There is also a layer of moss growing in the planter. Both of these things help retain moisture and keep the container soil moist.
Blue-eyed grass is not grass. Blue-eyed Grass belongs to the Iris Family and attracts bees, butterflies, and other pollinators. This was one of my main goals in planting Blue-eyed Grass. While having bees on my patio could be annoying, I wanted to attract butterflies. With any luck, I may attract some interesting photography subjects.
Blue-eyed grass plant can be found in all regions of New Jersey and thrives in specific ecoregions like the coast and Pinelands. Princeton is far from the coast or the Pinelands area of New Jersey.
Forty-two images were captured and stacked using the DMap method in Zerene Stacker.