Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

How densely can poverty weed flower?

with 9 comments

Poverty Weed Densely Flowering 0922

Click for greater clarity and size.

How densely can poverty weed flower? This densely.

I photographed this Baccharis neglecta along the edge of Floral Park Dr. in my northwestern Austin neighborhood on October 8th. On November 13th I was sorry to find that whoever maintains this strip of land had cut down this poverty weed and the one other that was nearby. This is a prolific species, and there are plenty of poverty weed plants in central Texas, but I’d gotten used to having a couple right in my neighborhood that I could observe (and photograph, of course) each fall when they flowered and turned fluffy.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

November 16, 2013 at 6:04 AM

9 Responses

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  1. Very pretty and love the name.

    Lisa Vankula-Donovan

    November 16, 2013 at 5:38 PM

    • This bush came to be known as poverty weed when it sprang up in quantity on ravaged and abandoned farms in the Great Plains during the Great Depression of the 1930s. People also called it Depression weed, New Deal Weed, and Roosevelt weed.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

  2. There’s so much of this around just now – great stands of it where I’ve never seen it before. Most of it is on private land, around businesses and parking lot perimeters, and it may be that the plant has some friends who think it’s pretty.

    I found a small delight in your photo. If you run your cursor up from the letter “g” in “greater”, just about two-thirds of the way to the substantial green stem that crosses the photo horizontally, there’s a small, golden-brown, star-shaped something that looks for all the world like a starfish. It’s especially obvious in the enlarged photo. Well, at least it’s obvious to me.


    November 16, 2013 at 7:09 PM

    • Here, too, the poverty weed has been continuing majestically, and even after weeks of fluffy branches I’m still seeing a fair amount. Perhaps the heavy rain we had last month accounts for that persistence (just as you regularly get more rain near the coast).

      As for the small brown object you described, by checking a much larger version of the photograph I found that it’s a bee out of focus beyond the nearest branches. When poverty weed is at its flowering peak, the odor can be quite strong and it attracts lots of insects.

      Steve Schwartzman

      November 16, 2013 at 9:17 PM

  3. Amazing and Thank you so much for sharing

    Gede Prama

    November 16, 2013 at 8:30 PM

  4. Living in a metropolitan area in San Juan, I have experienced the ‘repulsion’ some people have towards weeds. What seems to reign in widely residential areas, specially here, are the ‘ornamentals’, which I also like and have nothing against them. But I feel there’s a general ‘dislike’ for any ‘weedy’ growths in tourist areas and residential gardens where ornamentals must stand out to impress visitors.

    M. Firpi

    November 17, 2013 at 12:01 PM

  5. […] month. The patches of light gray in the background and near the lower left are the fluffy stage of poverty weed, Baccharis […]

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