garden, nature

beautiful stranger

Fluffy, originally uploaded by arahbahn

I didn’t plant it there; it blew in. Out of fear that this dandelion-like tuft would distribute seeds everywhere I don’t want it, I beheaded the first one to go to seed, and took a series of photos that now looks like a variations on a crime scene. Then, I stuck it in a bud vase in the dining room, where I can enjoy it in all its complexity: the tufts form many webbed hexagons; together they create the softest tuft of … well, what looks like dirty goat fur or whiskers. Cute. So, now the common name makes sense.

Our front flower and shrub bed now has a new resident: Yellow Goat’s Beard, or Tragopogon pratensis. It’s not native to Minnesota, but as far as I can tell, it’s not considered an invasive species. It’s nice having another yellow flower in that bed, a taller one, not far from the shorter Ozark Sundrops.

It sprouted near several of the bulb plants that I put in, last fall, so until it flowered I had no idea that it wasn’t a gift from Mom, like the tulips, allium, and narcissus. Perhaps the fact that I’m not considering it a weed, is the gift from Mom to acknowledge. These have such beautiful, complex flowers! Here’s a shot of one.