Not a Dandelion (and 'Civilization' Fights Back)-146/365

I have been watching these plants with their seed heads for some time, as they were along the side of one of the paths that Joni and I take on our walks. My friend Linda and I walked it together a week or so ago and she told me that she has also been curious as to what they are.

She said that the flowers only open for a very brief period early in the morning (which was why I had never observed that 😉 ). She also said that most of the heads simply shut up and die. Only a very few turn into these large and intricate seed heads which are very similar to dandelions. But these are much larger, about 3" across. And the stems they are on are between 2 and 3 feet high. I have no idea what they are, but I am really glad that I photographed this specimen as the other day an over enthusiastic village worker went through and mowed down all of the wild flowers and grasses next to the path, including these. So they are all gone.

'Civilization' Fights Back

The field that I photographed the other day (https://plus.google.com/105804664540125819976/posts/fd6X1K1A4ZA) has also been mown completely flat. All of the wild roses, all of the lupins, all of the tiny wild strawberry plants, the milkweed flowers  – monarch butterfly nurseries – as well as the wild blackberries have all been cut down and destroyed. I guess the village was threatened by all of this natural beauty. I could have cried. I am only glad that I caught it with my camera before this happened.

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29 Responses

  1. Strange, I just looked up this plant in my (real) plant book. It is called by that name but shows it as having pink flowers. The fact is that I have not seen any in flower but it looked as if the closed up ones have yellow in them. Odd.

  2. Thanks +Sumit Sen 

    I had no idea they were so widespread, +Christina Lihani – nice that everyone has chimed in with identifying and information.

    Thanks +Tushar Patil 

    +William McLean – thanks a lot. That's what I love about this community, the way everyone gets involved and helps out.

    Isn't it +Carole Surey – nice to learn new things about these amazing plants.

    Thanks very much +Rekha Rao 

    That is so true, +Lynn David Newton and even down to levels so much closer than we can ever hope to get with the human eye and even microscopes. I was happy to see the delicate intricacy here, with my camera lens.

  3. +Ellie Kennard, the flower looks very much like what we call "false dandelion" here, and you can tell the difference between species only by looking at the leaves. When the flowers that aren't going to form a seed head die, those pointy green sepals behind them turn pale, almost white, and look like stars scattered about. I like them as much as the flowers! So keep watching.

  4. And this Goat's Beard is about 3 or more feet high. so many different flowers that bear some resemblance, +Bette Kauffman Here is a photograph of the flower: http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/indexmag.html?http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artjul09/bj-goatsbeard.html
    and I read that these can be up to 6 feet high! I knew they got tall, but hadn't realized they were that high. Perhaps because they keep cutting ours down they are only about 3 or 4 feet high.

  5. Thanks so much for telling us +Shelly Gunderson – that was what Linda told me about these, and thanks for the compliment. I was particularly sad to see the loss of the milkweed patch (and all the rest of course) as the Monarch butterflies are in decline as it is without destroying their nursery grounds.

    Thanks +Darla Hueske – I love to think that sometimes we all see the same things on our ramblings.

    You are so right +Kristen Smith – like gold threads. Worth searching them out.

    How tall do yours grow, +Bette Kauffman ? These are surprisingly tall, and the leaves look nothing like dandelion leaves either. 

  6. I thought at the first glance that this is a dandelion! I have to watch if I can see such one somewhere, but I gues not here in the city… So sad they distroyed this beautiful wildflower feeld. Thank you for the link, I will save him and go back from time to time. :o) Hugs!!

  7. They are Goat's Beard or Western Salsify.  Love them but you have to be early in the day to catch them open.  Lovely image of the seedhead.  Edited to say, how sad all the flowers were mowed away.

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