Earlier this week, I was looking through some of my 2018 photos and came across a few shots of prairie wild rose (Rosa arkansana) I’d forgotten about. I took a few minutes to go looking for some older images as well, and chose some of my favorites for today’s post.
Wild rose is one of the more attractive and prominent wildflowers in our prairies during June, more so because they often occur in large rhizomatous clones. Many invertebrates find them attractive as well, especially the large, prominent, and pollen-packed anthers. Later in the year, their hips (fruits) also become important food sources (and nice photo subjects) but today’s post is all about the flowers.
This is the season of flying fluffy seeds. Asters, thistles, blazing stars, milkweeds, and other late season flowers are sending their seeds into the air, a few of which might actually land in a place where they can germinate. Each of those seeds is attached to a filamentous structure, variously called a pappus or coma, depending upon the species of plant. Those fluffy structures catch the wind and allow the seed to travel many miles, in some cases – though most land within a few meters of their origin.
Seeds that can float on the air are a nice adaptation for plants, but they are also attractive photographic subjects. Over the last week, I’ve photographed the seeds of common milkweed (Asclepias syriaca), dotted gayfeather (Liatris punctata) and tall thistle (Cirsium altissimum) in some local prairies. Here are a few of those photos for your Friday enjoyment.