Wednesday, June 27, 2012


Folks, bad times are coming for the OP plots.

We all know it's been dry.  High temperatures and low rainfall for the last 2-3 weeks have been rough on the wildflowers, and it's only going to get worse.  The wildflowers that had already peaked or were in full swing a few weeks ago are getting pretty crunchy at this point, and those species that should be taking the crunchy flowers place are not coming in very strongly.

For example, bergamot has been pushing its way up for the last month, and has been preparing to bloom for the last week... but bloom it has not.  The few flowers it did put out are looking a little ragged.

What the early bergamot blooms* from two week ago looked like:

And here is what it looks like now.  Kinda rough, for still being in the early stages of bloom.  And there are not a lot of these guys.

I really, really hope it rains soon.  Unfortunately, the current forecast looks a little like this:

So I'm steeling myself for rough times ahead for the ol' OP plots.

We do have a few species that are doing exceptionally well, considering the heat.  Rudbeckia, or Black-Eyed Susan, is definitely still chugging along.

We have a handful of Rudbeckia that are expressing a really odd morphotype.  My personal hypothesis is that this single bloom is just a a weirdo that tripled or quadrupled its expression.  Not the prettiest.  I thought it was a caterpillar fat-ass at first.  It still appears to have a lot of pollen available.  I wonder if pollinators don't recognize it as a flower?

If it ever rains, there will be more flower pictures.  For now, it will mostly be raggedy looking sunflowers and rudbeckia.  C'est la vie.

*Vick, Albert F.W., Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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