Although spring is coming in the Southern hemisphere, we are heading into fall (or autumn) here in the North. A couple of my (usually spring-flowering) shrubs seem to be confused about the time of year however.
Over the past few years, the red-flowered azalea in front of my house has had a few flowers during the summer or fall in addition to the full bloom that occurs in May, which you can see in the second photo from this post. This year, there are more than a dozen flowers on this bush in September.
As it turns out, there are azaleas that bloom in both spring and fall (Encore™ azaleas, more about them at GardenWeb) but I think my bush is too old to be that variety.
Even stranger, for the first time ever, one of the stems of my big lilac, which also has its big bloom in May (see also this post about lilac pruning), has a few clusters of flowers now.
Like azaleas, there are re-blooming varieties of lilacs (see these articles in CSMonitor and The Plant Hunter) but, due to its age and size, I’m pretty sure my lilac is the common lilac (Syringa vulgaris). I should mark the stem that is bearing these flowers so I can check on it next spring. These fall lilac flowers smell as good as their spring counterparts, but there aren’t enough of them to fill the yard with scent, or at least not enough to overpower the smell of ripening pawpaw fruit.
Why are these plants blooming now? I can only guess, but perhaps this behavior was induced by the extended hot, dry spell that we had during August and early September.