Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for April 21st, 2013

The closest look yet at old plainsman flowers

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Red-Black Beetle on Old Plainsman Flowers 9547

Here’s the closest look yet at the flowers of old plainsman, Hymenopappus scabiosaeus. You won’t mind, will you, if the red and black beetle blocks a portion of your view?

I took this picture yesterday, April 20, on FM 971 in Georgetown, some 20–25 miles north of Austin.

To see the various places where this species of old plainsman grows, you can check out the state-clickable map at the USDA.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2013 at 1:54 PM

The plight of one plainsman

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Old Plainsman Buds Fasciated 8398

Although the colony of old plainsman, Hymenopappus scabiosaeus, that I found on April 12 at the corner of Corral Ln. and I-35 in south Austin was remarkable for its size and density, one detail caught my attention: a single old plainsman plant that had become fasciated.

A post from August 2011 explained “what botanists call fasciation, a word based, with some imagination, on the Latin fascia that meant ‘a strip of material, ribbon, band, bandage, swathe.’ As Dr. T. Ombrello wrote: ‘One interesting type of mistake that is occasionally found in plants is known as a fasciated or crested growth form. It is usually the result of a growing point changing from a round dome of cells into a crescent shape. Subsequent growth produces a flat stem. In some cases fasciation is the result of several embryonic growing points fusing together, with the same flat-stem appearance.'”

In this close photograph of old plainsman, the lower group of buds looks pretty normal, but the upper group is clearly fasciated, with its buds flattening out into a row rather than forming a round cluster.

If you have a fascination with fasciation, you can look back at a firewheel and a poverty weed plant that suffered from that condition.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

April 21, 2013 at 6:18 AM

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