Autumn in spring, take 3
As I was driving along E. 51st St. on May 14, I caught a glimpse through my car’s passenger window of a spike of violet-colored flowers by the side of the road. That flowering spike shouldn’t have been there, but there it was, and who am I to argue with reality? So I drove on until I could find a place to park, then I walked back along the undeveloped margin of the street, through various expected native wildflowers like firewheels and horsemints and greenthreads and bull nettle, till I came to the Liatris mucronata, known as blazing-star and gayfeather, that had caught my attention.
Like the species in the last two posts, this is another one that normally blooms at the end of summer or in the fall, but here it was flowering well before its time. There turned out to be two spikes of flowers, along with plenty of healthy green plants nearby that promised more blossoms in the weeks ahead. In the background you can see a couple of those still-green spikes framing the flowers that have already appeared.
(Those of you who are interested in the strange plant phenomenon called fasciation may want to take a look at a picture from last year showing a fasciated Liatris mucronata plant.)
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman