Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for October 16th, 2013

A closer look at soft golden-aster

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Soft Golden-Aster Flower Head by Horseweed Stalk 6467

Here’s a closer look at one of the flower heads of soft golden-aster, Chrysopsis pilosa, that I found in Bastrop State Park on September 6th. As in the last photograph, the reddish stem is from a horseweed plant, Conyza canadensis. The tiny insects are a bonus. Whether the many spots on the rays of the flower head have anything to do with those insects, I don’t know, but the connection is plausible.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman


Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2013 at 12:23 PM

Horseweed “overshadowed” by brightness

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Soft Goldenaster Seed Heads by Horseweed 6444

Click for greater clarity and size.

The Conyza canadensis in the last picture was fasciated, but here you get to see what normal horseweed plants are like—at least you do if you don’t get distracted by the bright yellow wildflowers that were growing in their midst in Bastrop State Park on September 6th. I didn’t recognize the yellow flowers but Joe Marcus at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center identified them for me (thanks, Joe) as Chrysopsis pilosa, a species that’s known as soft golden-aster (pilosa means ‘covered with soft hairs’). Nearby I found some camphorweed that was flowering, and I’ve since learned that soft golden-aster used to be classified in the same Heterotheca genus as camphorweed. In addition to the bright yellow flowers of the soft golden-aster, notice the characteristic reddish stems of the horseweed.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 16, 2013 at 6:08 AM

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