A closer look at prairie bishop’s weed
The last post provided an expansive view of a colony of prairie bishop’s weed, Bifora americana, that had turned a field white with thousands of tiny blossoms. From that panorama it was impossible for you to get a sense of what the individual flowers look like, so today’s picture gives you the view from up close—with a friendly syrphid fly thrown in as a bonus. The tiny flowers are each about a quarter of an inch across, and you can see that they grow in a ring-like cluster. The full inflorescence is made up of a cluster of such clusters; parts of two others are visible in the background. (If you’d like an overview, literally, of the typical arrangement, you can check out a photograph of mine from 2004.)
I’ve been pleased to find prairie bishop’s weed in various places this spring, and in more than average quantities. The picture in today’s post comes from an April 17 session on the Blackland Prairie in northeast Austin.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman