What’s This Flower?

It’s been a while since we’ve done a plant identification quiz, so let’s see how you do.  Can you identify this common prairie flower?  It is found throughout the eastern half of the United States.  While it has a beautiful flower, this plant is rarely recognized for that trait.  Many ranchers in Nebraska would love to get rid of it because they think it reduces the amount of livestock forage in native pastures.  I’m skeptical that its impact is significant in most cases.  Regardless, it’s been mowed and sprayed for years but still persists, which is fortunate since its fruits/seeds are highly sought after by wildlife.


What do you think?  Put your answers in the comments section below (if you can’t see the comments section, click on the title of this post and then try again).  400 points to the first person to correctly identify it.

I’ll post the answer tomorrow, along with some more information on the species.


Photo of the Week – January 6, 2012

You might recognize the background of this photo from the Photo of the Week back on December 23.  Sorry about the duplication, but I really liked this image – and it’s been too warm to get any recent ice or snow photos…

More importantly, I thought it’d be a great “guess this species” image for those of you that like that kind of thing.  Can you identify the tall plant in the photo?

Can you identify the tall plant in this photo? Click on the photo to get a sharper version of the image.

I’ll put the name of the plant species in the comments section below (if you can’t see the comments at the bottom of this post, click on the title and then check again.)

Need a hint?  The photo was taken in a restored (reconstructed) sand prairie along the central Platte River in Nebraska.  The plant has a range of occurrence that spans the center 1/3 or so of the United States.  Oh, and it’s an annual…

Good luck!