Botanically speaking, fall is here.
As you’ve been able to confirm from the recent pictures of snow-on-the-prairie and snow-on-the-mountain and goldenrod, central Texas has gone into full fall botanical mode, even if afternoon high temperatures are still around 93°F (34°C). Today and in the next bunch of posts you’ll get a look at some more of that autumnal activity.
One thing that native plant people look forward to in central Texas at this time of year is Maximilian sunflowers, Helianthus maximiliani. Not many have appeared so far this season, but on September 7th I photographed a few in a field along Grand Avenue Parkway in Pflugerville. Years ago I found hundreds of these sunflowers in that field but mowing has almost wiped them out there now.
Let me point out, as I’ve done in previous years, that the flower heads of Maximilian sunflowers tend to open asymmetrically. You can see that in the disk at the center of this flower head.
For an explanation (or reminder) of why today’s photograph shows dozens and dozens of flowers rather than just one, you can (re)visit a post from 2014.
© 2016 Steven Schwartzman