Entries to Win Afghan

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Monday, April 1, 2024

Summer of 1993 - Prairie Plants

 You'll probably recognize this as a coneflower. But which one, eh? I think it's Pale Purple Coneflower, Echinacea pallida due to the narrow rays. The purple parts- they aren't really petals. This was before I had made my picture-taking rules about getting photos of the leaves.
pale purple coneflower

Here's one you might not know.
compass plant

This is Compass Plant, Silphium laciniatum. It's huge. It can grow from 3-9 feet tall. Definitely a prairie plant, and a famous one at that. It doesn't get it's name for nothing.
compass plant

The leaves emerge from the ground at random angles, but then they orient themselves pointing north-south. Settlers actually used the plant to stay on the correct heading as they crossed the plains. They could feel the leaves even at night.

The leaves may do this to avoid catching the full brunt of midday sun, so they can preserve water.
compass plant leaves

In other news: I worked on my book until mid-afternoon when I sent this draft to my fact-checking readers! Then I played hooky, and went to do a puzzle with Cathy. Got a load of laundry done before it started to rain.

See More Plants


Ann said...

I like both of these. That's really fascinating about the leaves on the second. That sure would come in handy if you were lost and needed to get your bearings.

The Oceanside Animals said...

Lulu: "It's convenient to have a plant pointing the way. Kind of like the big road sign in M*A*S*H*!"

Sharkbytes said...

Ann- I think it's much more reliable than the "moss on the north side of trees" nonsense.

Lulu- Well, there's that too! :D