Sunday, July 13, 2008

ASTER x frikartii (Michaelmas Daisy, Frikart's Aster) and butterfly

Unlike most Asters that bloom in the fall the Frikart's Aster is a summer blooming plant. The petals on the plants we bought last year seem to be thinner and fewer than the photos I've seen of the Frikart's Aster. Perhaps the ones we have are not the named ones like 'Monch', 'Wonder of Stafa' or 'Flora's Delight'. The color is also much paler which is just fine with me. The brighter lavender color of the newer hybrids seem a little garish to my eye.

The little butterfly stayed still just long enough for me to get close and take its picture.


Blogger Julie said...

I have Mary McGreger Stoker asters that are blooming now. They are the yellow ones and I really like them. I think the deeper mauves are a little garish as well.

5:57 AM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Nice butterfly picture! I didn't realize that the Frikartii asters were summer-blooming. The rabbits here usually eat all my asters to the ground and sometimes they don't ever resprout. Kind of discourages me from planting many.

BTW, I got some photos of the Maryland Meadow Beauty this weekend. The Virginia Meadow Beauty isn't quite in bloom yet.

6:25 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Hi Julie,
I didn't even know there was a summer blooming Aster until ours started blooming about a week ago and now with yours I know of two! :) I'll have to look for the yellow ones.


Hi Entangled,
It's a common butterfly around here so I should know the name of it but I don't (some kind of Fritillary?). They are usually skitterish and fast fliers so I don't even try to photograph them. This one just flitted into view and hung around long enough for me to take the picture.

I was surprised to see our aster blooming in summer. I was about to blame it on global warming ;) We have a very tame rabbit who seems to have adopted our yard as its home. Luckily it seems content to just eat our grass which is fine by me. I recently came upon some interesting scatological facts on rabbits. Apparently they eat their first poop which is black in color. They are herbivores but lack the second stomach to thoroughly digest the tough cellulosic (sp?) vegetable matter. So they poop it out and immediately consume the poop again to extract the nutrients during the second digestion. Interesting no? The pellets we see are the product of the second digestion. Probably more than you wanted to know but I find it fascinating. :)

I took a quick look at your MD. Rhexia. It looks as wonderful as the store bought cultivated ones. I do like the pale color. I wonder why your more northern MD(not by much) Rhexias bloomed first? Will be waiting to see the VA ones too. I wish we had wild one growing here. I missed the second flowering of my Rhexia. There were only four wilted flowers remaining. But four more bloomed today so I was able to take more pictures. Will probably post them for tomorrows GBBD.

6:05 PM  
Blogger Entangled said...

Ki, I think the butterfly might be a Pearl Crescent?

Good question about why the MD Rhexia would bloom first. I finally found my last year's photos and discovered I didn't notice either one of them until September. But this year I knew where they were and started looking earlier.

I'd hate to be a rabbit ;-)

4:43 AM  
Blogger Ki said...

Thanks for the butterfly ID! I wonder why they would name it pearl crescent when the color is mainly orange and dark brown?

Maybe the MD Rhexia is in a microclime or gets more sun? Wow, Sept. seems kinda late but I'd be thrilled if it keeps blooming 'til then.

Here's the url to the rabbit info. Look under cecal pellets and Diet and eating habits. Last time I tried to post a link it didn't work so here's the url if you're inclined to know more about your rabbit foe.

7:12 AM  

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