Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for November 9th, 2011

mistflower, boneset, snakeroot

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Ageratina havanensis; click for greater detail and sharpness.

Say three for the price of one, and with an extra adjective apiece, because white mistflower, shrubby boneset, and Havana snakeroot are all vernacular names for what botanists now call Ageratina havanensis. This is another member of the sunflower family that, like the climbing hempvine of the last two posts and the blue mistflower shown a few weeks ago, has flowers that don’t look sunflowerish. Ageratina havanensis often grows as a bush that can reach 6 ft. in height, but the one you see here was smaller, and some of its branches hung far enough down over the edge of a small cliff in northwest Austin that I could photograph their pink-tinged flowers and buds even though I lacked for light in the shade of the late afternoon. It was October 31, and a good ending to the month.

In the United States Ageratina havanensis apparently grows only in Texas, with Austin being on the far eastern edge of its range; at least that’s what the USDA map shows. The species name havanensis implies that this plant was first identified in Cuba, and it grows natively in Mexico as well, so this is one of those cases where Texas provides the northernmost habitat for a tropical species.

© 2011 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 9, 2011 at 5:12 AM

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