Another early arrival
2012 has been a year of early flowering for many species in Austin. On July 20, when I wandered along the east bank of Waller Creek adjacent to Chesterfield Ave. in north-central Austin, I encountered another early arrival, but one not likely to thrill the hearts of even the most fervent native plant lovers. What I found flowering at least a month before its usual time, and in quantity, was Ambrosia trifida, giant ragweed, the bane of many an allergy sufferer. Like other ragweeds, this one relies on the wind to do its fertilization, so the plant produces lots of pollen that gets blown hither and yon. Notice how some of that yellow pollen had gotten caught in the conspicuous spider webs that covered this stalk.
If you’d like a look back at a few previous articles on this species, you can check out these posts:
For those of you who are interested in photography as a craft, points 1, 2, 6, 7, and 17 in About My Techniques are relevant to this photograph.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman