Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Fasciated horseweed

with 11 comments

Horseweed Fasciated 6673

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When I went to Bastrop State Park on September 6th, another native plant I noticed was horseweed, Conyza canadensis, the third species in a row to make its debut in these pages. The common name tells you that many people consider this plant a weed, but it was doing its job of bringing abundant green to some of the land made bare by the conflagration of 2011. I even found one horseweed that was noticeably fasciated, and that’s the one you’re seeing here.

If fasciation is new to you or you’d like a refresher, you can find a discussion of the phenomenon in a post about a fasciated Liatris from a couple of years ago. Posts since then have shown examples of five other fasciated species:


poverty weed;

prairie verbena;

old plainsman;

Texas mountain laurel.

So, while fasciation isn’t common, it’s apparently not all that rare, either, given that four of the seven examples are from this year alone.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 15, 2013 at 6:02 AM

11 Responses

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  1. I just looked through all the photos. They’d make terrific illustrations for an article on fasciation – perhaps in “Texas Highways” or some such, with an article title of “Fasciating Texas”?

    This one seems to be growing its own bowl in which to display itself. It’s really quite wonderful. (I will confess that at first glance, it reminded me of an elevated highway overpass. Can you tell what’s on my mind?)


    October 15, 2013 at 7:26 AM

    • You’ve read my mind: while working on this post a few weeks ago, I submitted a proposal about fasciated wildflowers to a magazine, but I haven’t heard back yet. (It wasn’t Texas Highways, which probably wouldn’t be the appropriate magazine, because the editors are looking for things that readers can go and visit, and there’s no easy way to steer people to guaranteed fasciations. Texas Highways did, however, recently give me the go-ahead on another story, one that’s not botanical.)

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2013 at 7:51 AM

    • Whatever things this fasciation might remind me of, a highway overpass isn’t among them; if I read the tea leaves or Liatris leaves correctly, I foresee a trip in the near future for you.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2013 at 8:16 AM

  2. It almost makes for an intriguing that I guess is made by the fasciation. I’ll have to keep on the watch for those shapes. Thanks for introducing me to the term.


    October 15, 2013 at 9:17 AM

    • You’re welcome. Some sources use the adjective crestate to describe these plant forms, which can look like crests. By whatever name you wish, I hope you come across some of these “in the flesh.”

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2013 at 9:30 AM

  3. I have fascia on my house. 🙂

    Those were interesting examples in the links.

    Jim in IA

    October 15, 2013 at 9:49 AM

  4. Fasciated. I learned a new word from this post. 🙂


    October 15, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    • I’m glad to hear you’ve joined the group of people who have a fascination with fasciation.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 15, 2013 at 8:08 PM

  5. […] I think think there are a lot more people fascinated by cannabis than by fasciation. […]

  6. […] of you will remember pictures I’ve showed of the phenomenon called fasciation, so I should say that I saw no signs on this Mexican hat plant […]

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