Yellow is the Color of August
If each month were assigned an official color, August’s would be yellow. This is when yellow daisies of all sorts come to dominate, at least in our garden. Some cranky botanists refer to the ubiquitous yellow daisies as DYCs, or Damn Yellow Composites.
They are composites because each of the dots in the center is its own tiny flower. Those are called the disc flowers, while each petal is called the ray flower.
Myself, I don’t think there’s anything to be cranky about. All these glowing yellow blooms seems perfect for the time of year. Plus, they have a splendid variety.
Some have black button centers and short blunt rays, like Brown-Eyed Susan (Rudbeckia triloba).
Others have long, horizontal rays and a richer color, like Orange Coneflower (Rudbeckia fulgida).
Others have droopy, golden-yellow rays and green protruding centers, like Golden Glow aka Cutleaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata).
Some have a bright clear yellow like Cup Plant (Silphium perfoliatum).
Some might say that these are differences without distinction. It’s all in the eye of the beholder, of course. My own excitement about the variation in summer’s yellow daisies makes me more sympathetic toward the galanthophiles, who seem to find exquisite pleasure in barely noticeable variations among Snowdrops. But clearly, people in glass greenhouses shouldn’t throw stones.
Anyhow, here’s a view of the sidewalk in front of our house. The Rudbeckias, particularly Brown-Eyed Susan, pretty much take over the Parkway Bed at this time of year. I let them romp but cut them back hard, which they take absolutely in stride.
And here’s a view of the street from behind the Sidewalk Border. The Monardas are mainly seedheads by now. Happily there has been only a minimum of downy mildew.
Another nice thing about yellow flowers is how they glow when backlit by the sun.
Not every yellow flower at this time of year is a daisy. I’ve got a handful of flowers on the young Wild Senna (Cassia hebecarpa) growing in the Sidewalk Border.
I’m eager to see how big it gets next year.
And there are oodles of yellow umbels on the tall Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) in the Herb Bed. Also not a few Black Swallowtail caterpillars.
A gardener cannot live by yellow alone, even in August, so a sprinkling of orange makes a satisfying addition.
What’s your favorite yellow flower of August?