California's Sunflowery Inflorescence

Look, I know you’re sick of the Coreopsis gigantea bloom photos I’ve been featuring for the past month, as more and more of the blooms open up, but here’s a closeup.

What’s so special about this closeup? Nothing, except it’s a really good demonstration that this is in the Sunflower, or Aster (Asteraceae) family.

See, these big-headed flowers are actually inflorescences made up of many tiny little flowers all put together into one big giant head, just like a giant sunflower head. Click the photo and dive right in and you’ll see what I mean.

You can’t really tell on this photo, but the petals along the outside are also actually single petals from little blooms along the outside edge. It’s pretty amazing in person, but then you can check it out on your own sunflowers this summer and it looks the same!

It’s a little bit of summer right here in the middle of the California winter, such as it is.

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July 2020

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