Dwarf dandelion and two close visitors
And now here’s a closeup of a fully open dwarf dandelion flower head, which was about half an inch across. I photographed it on March 14 in an undeveloped lot at the corner of Braker Ln. and Kramer Ln. in north Austin. While in past years this was a good place to see native plants, in the spring of 2012 the lot was almost totally covered by the invasive Rapistrum rugosum. I walked through much of the property but the dwarf dandelions and a few gauras were the only native flowers I could find to photograph.
While we’re on that subject, I’ll note that the various species of dwarf dandelions are in the genus Krigia, which Shinners and Mahler’s Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas says was named for David Krig or Krieg, who was either German or Hungarian, and who collected botanical specimens in Maryland; he died in 1713. It just so happens that the German word Krieg means ‘war,’ which was the title of a recent post in which I invoked that metaphor to describe the conflict between native species and alien invasives.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman