Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Joe Pye by the End of July


Judging from the corn fields around Princeton, the old adage "knee-high by the 4th of July" needs to be updated. Corn was at least head-high earlier in the month. The rhythm and rhyme can be applied to the classic mid-summer flowers of Princeton's floodplains, whether along the canal towpath or planted ten years ago on the higher ground at the Princeton High School ecolab wetland: JoePye by the End of July. That's Joe Pye Weed, which comes in several species, the most common around here seeming to be hollow-stemmed (not in the photo).

That's rose mallow hibiscus in the background of the first photo, thriving with its feet in water consistently supplied by the school's sump pump.


Wild senna is another classic mid-summer native flower, in the pea family. Planted in this case at the new botanical garden at Herrontown Woods, it has yet to be browsed by the deer. The white spires in the background are Culver's Root, a purchased native that I have yet to encounter growing naturally in NJ.

Another common mid-summer classic is cutleaf coneflower, not shown here, but popping out at the various places we've planted them in town.

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