what's blooming in october

  • Botanical Name:

    Colchicum ‘Waterlily’

    Common Name:

    Autumn Crocus

    Family:

    Colchicaceae

    Native Region:

    Eastern Europe to North America

    Description:

    Though the colchicums are not related to the true crocuses, the common name ‘Autumn Crocus’ aptly describes the appearance and growth habit of the species. The plants stay dormant and leafless during the summer with flowers starting to appear from early fall, followed by leaves. The large, pinkish-purple flowered hybrid ‘Waterlily’ has double flowers on fairly short stems.

    Garden Location:

    O’Fallon Perennial Walk, Shady Lane
  • Botanical Name:

    Ilex verticillata

    Common Name:

    Common winterberry

    Family:

    Aquifoliaceae

    Native Region:

    Eastern & Central United States

    Description:

    This is a deciduous, multi-stemmed shrub often found in wet areas in the wild. It usually grows 6-10’ tall and 4-8’ wide with a tendency to sucker. Its white flowers in the spring are not particularly showy; however, the real show comes in the fall with clusters of vibrant red berries held close to the stem. These “show stopping” berries can last well into the winter - that’s if the birds don’t eat them all first. This fruit develops on the female plants which require a male pollinator plant nearby. Winterberry prefers moist, acidic soils but will tolerate poorly drained soils. It provides beautiful winter interest in the garden and attracts wildlife.

    Garden Location:

    Birds & Bees Walk
  • Botanical Name:

    Ixora ‘Maui’

    Common Name:

    Jungle Flame

    Family:

    Rubiaceae

    Native Region:

    Cultivated, unknown botanical origin

    Description:

    Ixora is a woody shrub in the Rubiaceae or coffee family. The genus Ixora has been widely cultivated and hybridized as a tropical ornamental often pruned into a hedge or grown as a bonsai. Inflorescences of Ixora are clustered and individually the flowers have long tubular forms that likely lead to pollination by hummingbirds. The red flowers of Ixora are used in Hindu ceremonies and certain parts of the plant are valued in folk medicine remedies.

    Garden Location:

    Boettcher Memorial Tropical Conservatory
  • Botanical Name:

    Machaeranthera biglovii

    Common Name:

    Bigelow Aster

    Family:

    Asteraceae

    Native Region:

    Western USA

    Description:

    A native wildflower, growing to a height of 1-3 feet, producing purple daisy-like flowers in the summer, this plant is attractive to wildlife. The flowers are a source of nectar for bees and butterflies, and songbirds feed on the seeds.

    Garden Location:

    Plains Garden