Yellow on yellow (against blue)
During the outing to the southern side of Great Hills Park that brought you the last two pictures (including the one that I think of as white on white), I photographed yet another wildflower, one that’s common in Austin but only now making its first appearance in these pages. It’s buffalo bur, Solanum rostratum, a genus-mate of the silverleaf nightshade that some of you saw last fall. There are people who consider both of these plants to be weeds, but they have intricate flowers with yellow stamens that look like elongated bananas: hardly your typical weed.
As opposed to the fruits of silverleaf nightshade, those of this species are rounded capsules with spikes jutting out of them; you can see parts of two of them in the photograph. The plant’s common name leads us to suppose that the burs used to get caught in the fur of buffalos and carried to new locations. Though the days of the last great herds have been gone for a century and a quarter, buffalo bur has continued to expand its range and is now found in almost all American states and many Canadian provinces, as you can confirm on the USDA map.
Posted on this date last year: a portrait, also from below, but closer and therefore more abstract, of the base of a bluebell flower.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman