Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

An unintended recipient

with 12 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Click for greater clarity.

Near the base of the poverty weed from which a yellowjacket chased away a red admiral on December 13th, there was a drying colony of doveweed, Croton monanthogynus, a low-growing relative of the woolly croton you saw seven weeks ago. Because of the doveweed’s position close to the ground and because of gravity, much of the seed-bearing fluff that the breeze blew off the poverty weed ended up covering the doveweed, where it seemed to do no good to either species. But that’s the short-term view; eventually the seeds of both plants will find their way to the ground.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 22, 2012 at 6:18 AM

12 Responses

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  1. Very interesting shot! it’s very fluffy.

    chatou11

    December 22, 2012 at 6:32 AM

  2. I wonder if the doveweed seeds hitch a ride on the fluff of the poverty weed? Or does the captured fluff help push both sets of seeds to the ground? Nature is incredibly devious sometimes.

    Joan Leacott

    December 22, 2012 at 8:50 AM

    • That’s an interesting speculation about the doveweed seeds hitiching a ride on the poverty weed fluff. I have no idea, but thanks for raising the question. Nature can be devious (and so can people).

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 22, 2012 at 8:56 AM

  3. or into the mouths of birds and insects…

    returntothenatives

    December 22, 2012 at 9:22 AM

  4. You may be fond of flower fluff, but there’s nary a bit of fluff in your postings! I love that you offer up the whole life cycle of these marvelous plants, not merely the beautiful blossoms. In the end, everything counts.

    shoreacres

    December 22, 2012 at 9:40 AM

    • I’ll have to see about remedying the FD (fluff deficiency) in future postings. I take a lot more pictures, and of a lot more things, than I could ever show, so maybe it seems to me that I’ve posted more end-stage pictures than I have. In addition to poverty weed, I remember showing fluff from marsh fleabane; antelope-horns milkweed; silverpuff; and my favorite, the old man’s beard that is Clematis drummondii.

      Steve Schwartzman

      December 22, 2012 at 10:05 AM

      • Oh! I meant that your postings are substantive, not that there’s a literal “fluff deficiency”. 😉

        shoreacres

        December 22, 2012 at 10:11 AM

        • The solstice must have affected me with an advanced case of literalness that caused me to miss the subtlety of your clever phrasing. (Yeah, blame it on the solstice.)

          Steve Schwartzman

          December 22, 2012 at 10:19 AM

  5. Nice photo for a change, No bright colors. I like different. Interesting how these 2 plants have come to together in a way that was not expected.

    petspeopleandlife

    December 22, 2012 at 11:06 AM


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