Friday, February 25, 2011

Verbesina encelioides

This species came in a seedmix sent as a free gift from a nursery on the west coast, and I was unable to figure out what it is for the two or three years I have had it. Finally I posted some what is it pics on the facebook group "Plantporn" (a plant geek group, obviously!) and got an identification. Apparently it mainly occurs in the southwest, but can be found in other states, even New York, though I have never seen it before. It behaves as a resowing annual here, growing about 3 feet tall and blooming from mid/late summer to frost. Copious seeds are produced, but it doesn't seem to produce excessive numbers of offspring thus far in my school garden, rather just enough to regenerate a few plants. I also save seed, which would be useful if I wanted a bigger display of it, though space is always at a premium given my penchant for high diversity in my gardens. Nothing seems to bother it, but pollinating insects are fond of it, and it is pretty much a carefree native species worth inclusion in a sunny garden.

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