Once a month, Gail, of Clay and Limestone, asks us to post about wildflowers. This month there are no blooms, but foliage should not be overlooked.
The Hepaticas have assumed their winter dress. They are the only evergreen wildflowers in my garden. Hepatica nobilis var. obtusa, above, has the better coloring, a glowing ruby.
It is already forming the buds for next spring.
Hepatica nobilis var. acuta, below, is usually a dull dark purple now, but this plant behaves differently from its sibilings. (That's the wild violet, Viola sororia, with the green leaves.)
It blooms much more profusely, forms a larger clump, and turns color later in autumn. It's a happier plant, and I don't know why, as it is situated at the base of a cottonwood tree, where not much else is thriving. I guess this is a "don't look a gift horse in the mouth" or "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" situation.
It's the last hurrah for Polemium reptans 'Stairway to Heaven', one of the first plants to sprout in earliest spring, with pink and cream and green foliage.
It's fitting that it should be the last wildflower to show its autumn finery.
Meteorological winter begins next week, and the snows can't be far behind. Another gardening year has come to an end. The willows shed their leaves in the wind, and soon all will become the muted. It is a time for taking stock and counting blessings.