Found in the Fells – August


It may feel that summer is going by all too quickly, but not to worry, there is plenty of flowering time left. One of the most notable flowers of August in the Fells - noticeable by both its heavy scent and prominent spikes of white flowers - is Sweet Pepperbush, a very common shrub in damp areas.  

This is when several members of the daisy family start blooming, the asters along the trails in the woods and, anywhere there’s a bit more sun, goldenrods, continuing well into the Fall.  There are several different species of both growing in the Fells. The asters have open clusters of mauve or white daisy flowers with long rays and yellow or purple centers and a whole array of different leaf shapes amongst the different species. The goldenrods, in meadows and on hilltops have a tightly packed florescence of small bright yellow flowers with short rays. Actually one has white flowers and so is called Silverrod.  

Certainly not a daisy, but not a fungus either, is Indian Pipe which, after rain, will emerge ghost-like on the forest floor.

It is a saprophyte and so has given up its chlorophyl to scrounge instead for food. So it grows in the dark woods not dependent on sunlight as most plants are. 

A more flamboyant member of the daisy family that can be found in certain damp locations is Joe Pye Weed. In even damper situations is the delicate and colorful Jewelweed. On a stream-bank you might be lucky enough to see the dazzling Cardinal Flower. In fact if you're prepared to go into swampy areas of the Fells, or along the edges of ponds, August is the time for many wetland plants to bloom, some showy like the Cardinal Flower and many others small but delightful if you seek them out.

 Sweet Pepperbush    Joe Pye Weed  Cardianl Flower                                                                                              Sweet Pepperbush  Clethra alnifolia   Joe-Pye Weed   Eupatorium maculatum   Cardinal Flower    Lobelia cardinalis            

With confidence that summer is not over yet, low-bush blueberry will often bloom again towards the end of August, and some falls manage a few ripe berries in sunny hill-top locations by mid-October.