Three Views Inside The Basket

When it comes to the basket-flower (Centaurea americana), the intricately woven basket is only the beginning. Equally appealing are the pink, purple, or white flower heads that appear to be beckoning insects and humans alike to have a closer look.

Colonies can be a blur of color, but individual flowers deserve a second glance, or to be viewed from a different angle.

Here, a basket-flower glows against a sandy county road.

This slightly unkempt specimen from a suburban ditch seems to be having a bad hair day.

Meanwhile, in the shadow of an abandoned power plant, the inherent elegance of the flower shines.

One of our most beautiful natives, basket-flowers help to make the transition into the heat of a Texas summer almost bearable.



Comments always are welcome.

A Tisket, A Tasket…

Not a green and yellow basket, as the children’s nursery rhyme would have it, but a green and purple American basketflower (Centaurea americana).

Sometimes standing as much as five or six feet tall, it spreads along ditches in great colonies, appears as a single plant at the edge of parking lots, or scatters across fields. Its color varies from pink, to purple, to creamy white, but always there is the “basket” — the stiff, straw-colored bracts just beneath the flower head that look for all the world like a woven basket and provide its common name.

After weeks of fearing one of my favorite flowers would be in short supply in our area, it suddenly swept across the landscape in great waves. From every angle, at every stage, it’s a delight to photograph, with or without the insects that seem to enjoy it as much as I do.



Comments always are welcome.