From December 29th of last year near one of the ponds close to the Costco in Cedar Park, here’s the first close look this blog has ever given you of Helenium amarum var. amarum, known as [yellow] bitterweed (amarum means ‘bitter’ in Latin). I’d gone to that location thinking I might find some sunflowers there, and I did find some Maximilians, but because they were looking worn I decided not to photograph them. Shortly after that, a loose colony of several dozen bitterweed plants, most of them fresh and brightly flowering, came as a welcome substitute, especially as the sky was heavily overcast and the temperature cool. The dull light and the breeze dictated a wide aperture of f/4, which is why you’re getting this selective-focus portrait.
In Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country, Marshall Enquist gives the bloom period for this species as April–November, but botanists like to point out that wildflowers don’t read field guides. In contrast to today’s closeup of a late-blooming flower head, a post from October of 2012 showed a large and densely flowering colony of bitterweeds.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman