If the Maximilian sunflower you saw last time was months early, the mountain pink you’re seeing now was right on schedule when I photographed it on June 7 by the side of Capital of Texas Highway in the hills on the west side of Austin. Those hills are the mountains in the familiar name mountain pink, but there are neither hills nor mountains in the botanical name Centaurium beyrichii. The mound of blossoms and buds in this picture is part—and only part—of the dense floral dome of a single plant; that’s how profusely mountain pink plants can flower.
The photograph I posted on this date last year is relevant to what you’re viewing today: a mountain pink bud with a single opening flower seeming to dance behind it (if looked at with the proper dose of imagination, but not a greater dose than was required for botanists to hark back to the centaurs of Greek mythology when naming this genus of plants).
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman