Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Archive for July 19th, 2020

Not parallel but parralena

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For all the yellow composite wildflowers that have appeared here over the past nine years, say hello to a little one with an unwieldy scientific name that’s making its debut today: Thymophylla pentachaeta var. puberula. Marshall Enquist’s book uses the common name parralena, and now I see online that other names are golden dyssodia, dogweed, and even the quaint fiveneedle pricklyleaf. Speaking of leaves, the ones on this plant have a resinous fragrance that I find pleasant. Botanist Bill Carr notes that this wildflower is “common in dry clay, marl, gravel or sand, often on compacted soils of roadsides.” Sure enough, the parralena flowers that I photographed on June 13th were growing on dry clay at the edge of Capital of Texas Highway. To give you a sense of scale, let me add that each flower head is about half an inch (13mm) across. Below is another parralena flower head that I noticed had nestled against an arc of dry grass, or the grass against it.

© 2020 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 19, 2020 at 4:21 AM

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