ORRIN MORRIS: Fall brings false foxgloves to roadsides, embankments

The Creator has put the seasons in order, even as He set the moon and stars in the heavens. In Genesis 1:14, the biblical writer noted, "And God said, 'Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years.'"We are in the process of observing the change of the season. In the springtime, the earth was awakening and we were surrounded by many tiny blooms, such as the bluets, henbits and bloodroots.

As the March winds subsided, a new set of wildflowers appeared that had developed longer stems, such as cat's ears, toadflax and oxeye daisies.

As the days grew longer, the earth grew warmer and another set of wildflowers burst into bloom: buttercups, blue flags, passion flowers, and the many clovers.

In early summer, as the rains began to diminish, along came the butterfly weeds, trumpet creepers, and St. Andrew's crosses.

Now as we approach September, we must turn our attention to the transition to late summer. At this time last summer we studied St. Andrew's cross, yellow daisy, bur-marigold and tickseed sunflower.

Today, we turn our attention to another late summer wildflower, the false foxglove.FALSE FOXGLOVE

Agalinis fasciculataThe yellow bloom of this wildflower looks much like the true foxglove but it is smaller and the throat is shorter. The plants are distinctly different with this species being widely branched and growing up to 3 feet tall. The true foxglove has a heavy central stem with short branches on which the flowers sprout.

Look for false foxglove from July to September in well drained soil. The leaves are smaller than the flowers and are shaped like the head of a lance.

Since they like their feet dry, roadsides and embankments are good places to find a plant or two. They do not like acidic soils so you should ignore the pine thickets and watch where the hardwoods are plentiful, especially the oaks.

False foxglove is not rare in the botanical sense of being endangered. But, they are not easy to spot since there are many yellow wildflowers that bloom together in mid and late summer.

Next week we will examine bittersweet. In the Appalachians and northward this is a very common wildflower, however, it is much less common this far south.

The fall season is about 30 days off. Summer's 90-degree weather will yield to "cooler" temperatures. I'm thankful that we can depend on the change in seasons (Genesis 1:14).

Orrin Morris is a retired Baptist minister, local artist and art teacher. Notecards are available of the wildflowers published in the Citizen. His email is odmsketchingpad@yahoo.com or call him at 770-929-3697.