Posts near the end of May showing Centaurea americana led to comments about the cornflower, Centaurea cyanus, a European genus-mate that’s long been cultivated as a garden flower in the United States. The European species is also called bachelor’s buttons, and while that common name doesn’t seem to have gotten transferred to any native American wildflowers, here in Texas we do have Barbara’s buttons, Marshallia caespitosa, which like Centaurea is in the sunflower family.
I don’t recall ever noticing Barbara’s buttons in my neighborhood before 2012, but on April 13th of this year I found some budding plants on an undeveloped property not far from home. The white “glow” surrounding this developing flower head is from a blackfoot daisy a little distance behind it. Who the Barbara was that Barbara’s buttons got named after remains a great metaphysical mystery.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman