|Bear's foot/Hairy leaf cup leaves are giant sized
|Hairy Leafcup/Smallanthus uvedalius grows along the greenway path
I want a world where my granddaughter and other children don't have limited opportunities to connect with nature. Too many children already are nature deprived. Children spend more time viewing television and playing video games on computers than they do being physically active outside. Richard Louv called this phenomena, ‘nature-deficit disorder’ in his book, The Last Child in the Woods. He wrote about how significant the developmental effects of nature are for children. Although, it's not a medical term, he said it's "a metaphor—to describe what many of us believe are the human costs of alienation from nature: diminished use of the senses, attention difficulties, higher rates of physical and emotional illnesses, a rising rate of myopia, child and adult obesity, Vitamin D deficiency, and other maladies." (source)
Researchers are discovering all the different ways that nature benefits our well-being, health, and relationships. Those benefits will be irrelevant if we cannot get people to reconnect and value nature. You don't have to take my word for it...Just do a little research and then get out there and push to make sure there are parks, greenways and school programs so that everyone can connect or reconnect to nature. The future is at stake.
The first time I saw Hairy leaf cup the giant leaves made me think of an Oakleaf Hydrangea. Smallanthus uvedalius is a perennial, not a shrub, although, it can get almost as large as a small understory shrub. The plants along the greenway average about 4 to 6 feet tall, but it's not unusual for them to get even taller. It has stout stems with opposite leaves that form a small leafcup. The leaves are palmately lobed and green with fine hairs scattered across the veins and both leaf surfaces. Leaves are 4 to 12 in long and are the most striking thing about this yellow flowered aster! Each flower head has 7 to 13 yellow ray flowers to the outside and 40-80 yellow tube-like disc flowers to the inside. The ray flowers produce seeds and from my observations, this wildflower does a nice job of reproducing.
|Steven J. Baskauf http://bioimages.vanderbilt.edu/
This large wildflower grows best in moist, part shade. It is found naturally occurring in moist to dry, lightly shaded, open woodlands, savannas, thickets, fields and bottomlands. If it's happy it can become tall (up to 10 feet) so plant it in the back of a perennial border or woodland garden. This species is found from Michigan southwest to Illinois, Missouri, and Kansas, south to Oklahoma and Texas, east to New York and New Jersey, and, south to Florida. It is beginning to flower in middle Tennessee and will continue to bloom until late summer keeping bees and wasps very happy.
|it can get tall~on average it's 4 to 5 feet but, I've seen it taller
Smallanthus uvedalius/Polymnia uvedalia
Family: Asteraceae — Aster family
Common names: Yellow-flowered Leafcup, Bear's foot, Hairy leafcup
Habitat: Moist soils in partially sunny thickets, woodlands and fields.
Leaf: Green with very large opposite petiolate leaves that form a small cup around the stem and hence the name leafcup.
|leaves decrease in size and become less complex up-stem
Bloom: Anytime from now to early summer in our neck of the woods
Propagation: Seeds should be sown in fall or spring.
Comments: This is a big guy and needs room to spread. Might be appropriate for a naturalistic and woodland garden.The leaves really bring another dimension to a woodland garden. The flowers are pollen and nectar rich.
Some folks might think this is a course looking flowering plant, and it may well be, but, I still like it! I think it's an honorary rough and tumble wildflower!
Mt Linky is not cooperating these days, not sure why, so put a link in your comment. Thanks.
Wildflower Wednesday. This day is about sharing wildflowers and other native plants no matter where one gardens~the UK, tropical Florida, Europe, Australia, Africa, South America, India or the coldest reaches of Canada. It doesn't matter if we sometimes share the same plants. How they grow and thrive in your garden is what matters most.
Gail Eichelberger is a gardener and therapist in Middle Tennessee. She loves wildflowers and native plants and thoroughly enjoys writing about the ones she grows at Clay and Limestone. She reminds all that the words and images are the property of the author and cannot be used without written permission.