Today the Woodland Sunflowers (Helianthus divaricatus) bloomed. I noticed one along the roadside on the way home, but I wasn’t sure that’s what it was. There’s a big patch of it growing at the end of my driveway, so I was on the lookout for it when I pulled in. Yup! Two and a half blossoms! I went in and got my raincoat and tripod. The two fully opened blooms were too high for my tripod to reach, and it was quite overcast, so I didn’t think I could free-hand a shot with out it. So I took one of the half-opened one:

Partially open Woodland Sundflower (Helianthus divaricatus)

Partially open Woodland Sundflower (Helianthus divaricatus)


I’m not 100% confident I got the species right, as there are 62 species of Helianthus in the U.S. Many of them are nearly indistinguishable, especially by an amateur like me. But that’s my best guess. Maybe later tonight I’ll go through all 62 and take a careful look at all the ones that supposedly grow in NH.

Speaking of genera with too many species, another one of those bloomed today. Some sort of aster.

Some sort of Aster

Some sort of Aster


The Aster genus is so confusing as to give professional botanists fits. Furthermore, they keep inventing new genera and moving plants out of Aster and into these new ones. In my Peterson’s Field Guide, he lists a couple dozen species of purple aster, and the closest one I can find there is Aster radula. But according to the USDA and WIkipedia, that one has been moved to a new genus – Eurybia. Those whacky taxonomists! I don’t see how I can ever hope to master the aster.

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