Portraits of Wildflowers

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Archive for January 4th, 2015

Like teeny tiny cauliflowers

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Parthenium Flower Heads by Colorful Leaves 1649

If you’d like to get a sense of scale here, be aware that each of these “cauliflower” heads is only about 5 mm (3/16 of an inch) across. You’re looking at a species of Parthenium, probably hysterophorus, known as false ragweed. Bill Carr writes that it is “common in dry disturbed sites, particularly in urban areas where it is a conspicuous weed of sidewalk cracks and neglected lawns.” This native may be weedy, but I’d say that it’s still needy of a closer glance, so go ahead and take this chance.

You probably don’t know and couldn’t easily tell that false ragweed (like non-false ragweed) is in the same botanical family as sunflowers, but with or without that information you’re welcome to say welcome to another species making its debut here.

This photograph is from December 29, 2014, at the Arbor Walk Pond. The red in the background came from the small but colorful leaves of an unrelated plant.

UPDATE on January 15, 2015: I see that the botanical designation has changed to Parthenium confertum.

© 2015 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

January 4, 2015 at 5:18 AM

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