Clasping-leaf coneflower and bluets
The bluets near the pond off Naruna Way on the 2nd of June receded into blurs of color as I focused instead on the flower head of a clasping-leaf coneflower, Dracopis amplexicaulis. You might think you’re seeing a Mexican hat or perhaps a brown-eyed susan, which does look similar except that here the “eye” is green. Distinct from either of those relatives, this species has leaves that clasp their stems and account for the first part of the plant’s common name. The cone in that name, of course, is a misnomer because a cone comes to a point and isn’t rounded; thimble would be more accurate, but no one asked me. And even though no one asked me to point out the spirals on the thimble in today’s picture, I’m doing so now.
Only once before has Dracopis amplexicaulis appeared in these pages, and then only as a small element in a field of mixed wildflowers. This time you get a close-up.
© 2015 Steven Schwartzman