Drying sunflower stalk
As I’ve said repeatedly in this blog, the uncommon “common” sunflower, Helianthus annuus, is one of my favorite local species. That’s a good thing, because at least some sunflower plants can usually be found flowering in central Texas from late May through October or even November, fully half the year. But it isn’t just the famous flowers that grab me; I’m fascinated by all the plant’s parts. Here you see a close-up of its conspicuously hairy stalk as it begins to fade. Note the baby leaves at the lower left that have dried out and turned white before they’ve had a chance to mature.
I took this photograph on August 29 at Austin’s Elisabet Ney Museum, whose grounds are being restored to a native prairie. As has been true all week, today’s picture is one of twelve that are currently on display at the museum.
© 2011 Steven Schwartzman