Not everything in nature is useful
In the last post I showed the seeds and silky fibers that were being turned loose after the pod of an antelope-horns milkweed, Asclepias asperula, had split open. While photographing the spilled contents of the pod, I noticed that some of the seed-bearing fluff had gotten snagged on nearby plants, where it did neither species any good. You recognize that the other species in this case is Gaillardia pulchella, called firewheel or Indian blanket, at the stage where its seed head is beginning to dry out. Note the unusually sinuous stem leading to the spherical seed head. The orange patches in the background came from other firewheels that were still flowering.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman