Posts Tagged ‘Anaphalis margaritacea’


Daylilies work well for me because I start to lose interest in the garden later in the season. I love that glorious burst of growth in the spring, the dazzling flowers of summer. By the end of August, I’m ready to move on to other activities.


I’m content to stroll about the garden and not lift a finger on its behalf. I never trim back my plants until spring. Many of them provide winter interest, with interesting seed pods or twisty stems.


I can further justify my autumnal laziness with the fact that the seeds and leaf litter the garden offers will feed and protect a host of insects and birds over the freezing months ahead.


There are still a few flowers to be seen, such as a late-blooming head of masterwort (Astrantia major ‘Sunningdale Variegated‘), above.


And here is a bouquet of Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea) tucked in amongst the lowest branches of the corkscrew hazel.


The chocolate Joe Pye (Eupatorium rugosum ‘Chocolate’) is just wrapping up its blooming season for the year.


A few heads of phlox are contributing a bit of colour. This is Phlox paniculata ‘Sherbet Cocktail’.


The last, the very last flower to bloom in my garden every year is this monkshood (Aconitum carmichaelii ‘Barker’s Variety’). The flowers are set off nicely by the new green coat that the house received this summer.


The bright berries of the aptly named American Winterberry (Ilex verticillata ) brighten a shady corner and make a contribution to the garden’s offerings for wildlife.


The grasses are the mainstay of the fall garden. This little cutie is Piglet Fountain Grass (Pennisetum Alopecuroides ‘Piglet’).


The plumes of this unnamed miscanthus species look fabulous when backlit by the sun. This is one of the tallest grasses in the garden, but two others surpass it. Both are new this year, and are only just opening their plumed heads now. Hopefully, next year they will fill out more and reach maturity a bit earlier in the season. You can make out Giant Maidengrass (Miscanthus gigantus) in the photo below, standing to the left of the sunlit plumes. Behind it is the tallest of the three, the native Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii).


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The meadow is a good spot to do some butterfly watching. As I walked through the field, I spotted an assortment of these most beautiful of insects. The most abundant butterflies are the well-known Cabbage Whites (Pieris rapae) and the yellow Clouded Sulphurs. Cabbage whites are an introduced species and they have certainly made themselves at home in their new range. They first arrived in Quebec around 1860. Within 20 years, cabbage whites had expanded their range to include the eastern half of the continent and now range coast to coast. The flight of cabbage whites is quick and erratic and they rarely settle for long, making them hard to capture photographically and I didn’t pursue any. Cabbage whites are considered agricultural pests if you grow cabbage. If not, they are cheerful, lively garden visitors.

Clouded Sulphur (Colias philodice)

Clouded sulphurs (Colias philodice) are also ubiquitous and are found across much of the continent. These pretty pale yellow butterflies can be found in a variety of open habitats, from hayfields and meadows to open woodlands, roadsides and lawns. Like cabbage whites, they are very active, but I captured a photograph of this one settled on a cluster of boneset flowers. I love the dainty pinkish edging featured on the underwings and the little double spot. It’s said that adding some white clover to your lawn mix will draw sulphurs to your yard.

American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis)

This American Lady (Vanessa virginiensis) didn’t oblige me by spreading her wings before taking off and disappearing. However, it can be identified by the two large eyespots on a dark background that can be seen on the lower edge of the hindwing. American Ladies are unable to survive our cold northern winters and populations move here from the south each summer. It’s easy to attract American Lady butterflies to your yard. Just plant Pearly Everlasting (Anaphalis margaritacea). It’s a lovely little native perennial, easy to grow, an enjoyable addition to the garden and a magnet for American Ladies. You may not see the butterflies arrive, but they will leave their eggs. You’ll know they’ve been visiting when you see that the caterpillars have bound the leaves into a silky nest.

Pearly Everlasting

This little butterfly is a Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia). As the name suggests, they are common, widespread butterflies, but with their drab colouring, they’re not very conspicuous. The forewing is a pretty tawny orange and is marked by a single eye, while the hindwing is darker brown. They generally stay close to the ground in grassy areas. The caterpillars feed on grass and overwinter as caterpillars.

Common Ringlet (Coenonympha tullia)

There were a number of Red Admirals (Vanessa atalanta) on the wing. They’re easily recognized by the bright bands of orange across their forewings and a matching band edging the hindwings. The underside of the wings looks quite different. The hind wing features a complex pattern of mottled browns with pale buff along the margin, while the forewing has bands of red-orange, white and a touch of blue along the leading edge. Red admirals will come to flowers for nectar, but they also enjoy rotting fruit juices and tree sap. It is a resident in areas with mild winters and populations move north in the spring. Their larval plants are members of the nettle family.

Red Admiral (Vanessa atalanta)

Red Admiral, wings closed.

Finally, this last “butterfly” isn’t a butterfly at all. It’s a moth, a Celery Looper (Anagrapha falcifera), a native of the United States and southern Canada. It is considered a pest because the caterpillars eat holes in the leaves of lettuce, celery, and other crops but it is generally a minor nuisance. They also feed on a wide variety of native plants. The adults can often be found visiting flowers during the day. This one was visiting boneset. The small white marking on the wing is a helpful identifying feature.

Celery Looper (Anagrapha falcifera)

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