Engelmann’s Daisy in full bloom

engelmannia_perestinia

We have a number of wildflowers in bloom on the Rolling Plains but at least in and around Abilene it seems that Engelmann’s Daisy, Engelmannia peristenia, is the most common at this time, followed by Greenthread, Thelesperma filifolium (more on this species later). Engelmann’s Daisy is abundant along Interstate 20 north of Abilene and also in town along the US83/84 freeway. The name for this species that many may be familiar with is Engelmannia pinnatifida (published 1840).  But some enterprising botanists dug up an even older name from the scientific literature that was published in 1832, which is E. peristenia.  In taxonomy the oldest, validly published name takes precedence, even though we don’t sometimes discover these older names until 100s of years later.

I have enjoyed seeing this plant lining the roadsides over the last week.  While out walking among the populations today I could see many plants that have yet to bloom.  So, we should be in for a good stretch of blooms from this species for the next several weeks. Engelmann’s Daisy is supposedly found throughout all of Texas except for the forested sandy areas in the eastern part of the state. According to the Flora of North Central Texas, farmers and ranchers refer to this as an “ice cream” plant because it is preferred by livestock. This is why it is so abundant along highway right-of-ways and not found in areas where grazing animals can get at it.

Engelmann’s Daisy is a member of the sunflower family or Asteraceae.  Here’s a photo which shows the stem and leaves:

engelmannia_perestinia_plant

In the taxonomy world we call this genus (Engelmannia) a monotypic genus, since it has only one species which is this one. Engelmann’s Daisy is named for Dr. George Engelmann (1809-1884), a German-born botanist and physician of St. Louis.  This attractive plant is native to North America and I think it would look nice  in a cultivated bed.

While out scouting for blooms today I also found Greenthread in flower (Thelesperma filifolium) and Texas Sage (Salvia texana).  Stay tuned.  I have pictures…..

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2 responses to “Engelmann’s Daisy in full bloom

  1. Pingback: Berry Go Round #15 | A Neotropical Savanna

  2. Do you have even more articles like this one termed, Engelmanns
    Daisy in full bloom | Flora of the Texas Rolling Plains? I want to read through even a
    lot more about it. Thanks for your time.

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