Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for September 10th, 2011

Marsh fleabane

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Marsh fleabane; click for more detail.

The daubs of color that appeared beyond the peppervine leaves in the post before the last one were from the flowers and buds of marsh fleabane, Pluchea odorata. As you can tell from the marsh in the common name, this plant grows on wet ground, often at the edge of a creek or pond. As for the odorata in the scientific name, the plant admittedly has a strong scent. Some people find it fragrant, others not so pleasant; the plant and my nose have gradually won me over to the fragrant camp.

This close-up of buds (pink on slightly tinged white) and opening flowers (darker pink on lighter pink) is from a session at Meadow Lake Park in Round Rock on August 9. Adjacent to the marsh fleabane and even touching it were the leaves and red-branched shoots of a very young black willow tree, Salix nigra, another species that thrives near water. The narrow leaves with the jagged edges are from the willow; the smooth-margined leaves at the bottom center of the photograph are from the marsh fleabane.

To find more about Pluchea odorata, including a clickable map showing the many places in North America where this species grows, you can visit the USDA website.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

September 10, 2011 at 5:55 AM

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