Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for December 14th, 2013

Taverner, sojourner, heavener

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Baccharis halimifolia, Pine, and Other Trees 8790

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A taverner is someone who keeps a tavern and a sojourner is someone who makes a sojourn. Nothing strange there. But what, I wondered on November 10 as we drove south into the town of Heavener, Oklahoma, is a heavener?* I didn’t speculate long, though, because after I saw an undeveloped piece of ground with plenty of native plants on it off to my left, I spent 20 minutes scampering about to take pictures. The thing that had first caught my attention from the road was a few fluffy poverty weed bushes, but I could tell right away that they weren’t the same species that grows in central Texas and that I’ve showed a bunch of times in these pages. From previous readings I concluded that I was probably looking at Baccharis halimifolia, a species even more widely distributed—from eastern Texas to southern New England—than the B. neglecta I’m familiar with. Also unusual for me was seeing a poverty weed adjacent to a pine tree, a combination unknown in Austin. Notice some fading goldenrod in the foreground and a little of the ever-present sumac turning red in the distance.

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* It turns out that the town was named for Joseph H. Heavener, who Wikipedia says settled in the area about 1877. Now the question becomes: how did that family name originate?

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

December 14, 2013 at 6:04 AM

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