Wildflowers of August: Virgin’s Bower

Flower Virgin's Bower

Virgin’s Bower is a woody vine that blooms in August in damp soil in southern Maryland. It is a sweet-smelling clematis. It can grow to 20 feet and often covers everything in its path with so many blossoms they look like a heavy white snow. After they go to seed they are called Old Man’s Beard. Each seed has its own little gray beard.

Wildflowers of August: Rattlesnake Master

Flower Rattlesnake master

Rattlesnake Master grows in August in southern Maryland in damp areas. It is a member of the carrot family. The entire plant is bluish or grayish green. The color reminds me of Dusty Miller. The unusual flowers are prickly balls. I find them so unique that they startle me every time I see them.

Wildflowers of August: Ironweed

flower Ironweed

Ironweed is very popular with butterflies. It grows in damp areas of southern Marlyand in August. I believe it is called ironweed because its tall stems are strong enough to survive the snows in winter.

Per Wikipedia: Vernonia galamensis is a plant in the sunflower family, known for its use as an oilseed. This species, often called ironweed, is the largest source of vernonia oil, which is rich in a useful epoxy fatty acid called vernolic acid and is used to make plastics, rubbery coatings, and drying agents. Use of this oil as a replacement for traditional plasticizers and binders in the production of paints and PVC shows promise as a method of reducing smog pollution.