What a plant, the flowers start out almost a deep red, shifting to golden hues that magically end up bronze. This is a big plant.. It needs space and sun!
It can be done in a mixed bed as the back border edge but for shear statement, a drift of these will stop peaple in their tracks from a distance..
However its what is happening up close that has me writing about them today..
From the moment the first flower buds start opening in july the native bees are flocking, little itty bitty bees to big fat bumbles.. I have counted 9 different type an sizes at the same time..
The blooms just keep coming till frost in Oct for this Hardy Zone 3 plant.. While my own garden this year has been a haven for so many native bees.. If you sit, you hear them, if you watch, they are everywhere.. Its been such a good bee year, that one of the natives went super queen and did a whole in ground nest of little queens, which lead to me being stung a number of times rapidly in a short time frame till I figured out where their nest was to avoid it..
I keep reading on my garden groups, where are the bees? Peaple having to take out brushes and hand pollinate, moving flower to flower and so many photos of incomplete pollination on a number of things..
Be in the town, Be in the City or be in the country.. no one could look at this plant and think anything but Ah, how pretty.. those walking by do not need to know that you put one or two of these in the edges to draw and feed the bees so they will also pollinate in your food producing garden.
While I have a crazy amount of asters and golden rod to keep my hundreds (thousands) of native bees busy, most folks do not have the room needed to have it that wild in large spaces.. this plant is a excellent choice for a bee draw and feeder for the fall months.
But don’t think these guys are done.. nope.. nope.. the seeds.. so many seeds! That small dessert plate is only holding 5 flower heads worth of collected seeds as I want to start more plants for next year.. (splitting the plants is ideal but I am cheap and want more more rapidly)
Each dried flower head is a nice tight ball, filled with 20 to 40 plus seeds easily and they are a favorite food for these beauties! The Goldfinches have lots of different native feeder plants in our food forests but its always nice to add another one..
Given each mature plant is covered in masses of flowers, that is a lot of really good winter seed feed for the little birds, while I always have feed out for them, I know that for their health, the more native plants that feed them, the healthier they will be!
Farmgal Tip : I do not want to many to be taken out, or grow more plants 🙂 but these are also excellent cutting flowers for the vase.. they hold up really well and add just the most beautiful textures and colors..