Strolling around my yard in October, here are a few of the flowers you will probably spot:
From Georgia Native Plant Society:
This species is found only in a few states and we are so glad that Georgia is one of them! It has the largest blooms (up to 2 inches across) of any of our native asters. Georgia aster is generally a bigger plant than “late” purple aster, Symphyotrichum patens, has larger flowers, and the color of the ray flowers is a deeper purple while the center disk flowers are a pale tan (compared to the bright yellow of the S. patens), fading to soft purple as they age. Georgia aster is not a particularly tidy plant and looks best in a plant community of native grasses, goldenrods and other perennials so the large flowers can mix and mingle among the stems of the other plants. Plants can increase in size over time through roots or via seed.
The New England asters are hanging in there since September. The ‘Purple Dome’ cultivar is such a vibrant color addition in the pollinator garden.
New England aster (Symphyotrichum novae-angliae) is sold in Georgia but not often found in the state. Adaptable to a bushy, compact shape, the species is a favorite of gardeners for having numerous, large flowers. While those sold in stores are probably pinched for an even shape, the un-pinched ones in gardens still put on a great show and bees and pollinators love them just as much.
Aromatic aster (Symphyotrichum oblongifolium) is not native to Georgia but it is native in nearby states (e.g., Alabama), and it is also frequently sold at native plant sales, especially cultivars like ‘Raydon’s Favorite,’ ‘Fanny’s Aster’ and others. This aster has dense growth (especially if pinched earlier in the year), good sized flowers, and is fairly late blooming in its range.
Native throughout the state, this perennial can be found in dry rocky soils such as roadsides and meadows/fields. The deep green foliage is attractive even when the plant is not blooming, topped in late summer/early fall by clusters of bright yellow flowers.
One of the showiest fall flowers is swamp sunflower (Helianthus angustifolius). With a large natural range in the southeast and in Georgia, this perennial sunflower is suitable for gardens in need of really TALL flowers. Thick herbaceous stems (meaning: not woody) can reach over 12 feet tall. While this plant might appreciate moist conditions, it grows fine in average soil too. Blooming now – you can sometimes spot them in residential gardens by the extreme floral display this time of year.