Sunday, October 16, 2011


Wanted to share some of my friend Don Schulte's more recent work, a new set of notecards he'll be rolling out shortly featuring sunflowers, both annual and perennial, that he's photographed in my garden in the last year or so.

My friend Catherine Dumke-Derbyshire actually "planted the seed" for this idea.  I've been feeding Don ideas for a few years now, including capturing images of Fall color, native plants, herbs, Hydrangeas and Clematis (many of which he's photographed in my garden), but this was one topic I completely missed, which is pretty ironic as I make all kinds of pottery sunflowers - they're kind of my "trademark" as an artist!

Don was able to get some very nice shots of Helianthus annuus (Annual Sunflower), as well as beautiful images of Helianthus giganteus (Giant Sunflower, upper right) and Helianthus mollis (Downy Sunflower, so called as the foliage has a velvety quality, lower left).  We're hoping next year I may be able to get some Helianthus divaricatus (Woodland Sunflower) established; we've tried two years in a row but the squirrels keep digging them out - I'll probably have to cage them!

By the way, the genus name "Helianthus" comes from the Greek for "sun" ("Helios") and "flower" ("anthos") - together, they mean Sunflower; the epithet (second part of the binomial Latin name) for the annual sunflower - "annuus" - refers to its annual habit.  The meaning of the epithet for Giant Sunflower is pretty self-evident; "mollis" means "soft", reflecting the texture of Downy Sunflower's leaves; and "divaricatus" means "spreading" or "diverging" - and is a common epithet for woodland plant species.

Don will have these and other notecards - including hopefully a new set of Autumn Wildflowers - for our Holiday Open House coming up Saturday, December 10, 10a-4p.  See you there!

All photos Don Schulte copyright.

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