From the Diamond Grove Prairie southeast of Joplin, Missouri, that I visited on June 4, here’s a flowering colony of gravelweed, Verbesina helianthoides. If the genus name is familiar, you may be remembering the Verbesina virginica whose wintry ice trick I’ve documented in these pages several times. Below is a closer look at the faded and frazzled buckeye butterfly, Junonia coenia, that’s not easily noticed in the overview above.
Thanks to Scott Lenharth for identifying the gravelweed, also known as yellow crownbeard, about which he added the following:
It’s having a great year. My prairie reconstruction site has an increasing amount of it. This is the plant several sources claim is a “savanna” or “open woodland” plant, but it thrives in many prairies.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman