Fuzzy, flowery Philadelphia fleabane

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Philadelphia fleabane is a showy wildflower native to most of North America.

This little flower has numerous slender petals accompanying each flower head that often resembles a flower's impression of a "bad hair day." The wind was not blowing when I took this photo.

The Philadelphia fleabane has hairy stems, unlike its close relative the fleabane daisy, which has smooth stems and is also a native North American wildflower.

Many insects, including butterflies, bees and wasps, are attracted to the pollen and nectar of this plant. But other than this special service to insects, the Philadelphia fleabane has virtually no purpose.

It grows to about two-and-a-half feet tall, blooms profusely with pretty little quarter-sized blooms and even with its apparent shortcomings is beautiful to see.

Through the Woods is a weekly nature photo column by Aaron Horrell. Find this column at semissourian.com to order a reprint of the photo. Find more work by him at The Painted Wren Art Gallery, 5H N. Main St.

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