Tuesday, April 30, 2013

American basketflower neglected in some books listing native wildflowers in the Ozarks

Use highlighted live link to view many more photos of American basketflower:
Centaurea americana AKA American basketflower a magnificent annual that needs and deserves more attention and encouragement. Two books by Don Kurz, Ozark Wildflowers and Arkansas Wildflowers, make no reference to Centaurea americana. The fifth edition of Carl Hunter's Wildflowers of Arkansas (1999) mentions the species briefly on page 232 under the discussion of non-native Batchelor's button, with a reference to page 270 for a photo as a seeming afterthought. Why does this matter? The basketflower is a spectacular native that every wildflower enthusiast should be able to recognize. But giving zero attention or only a minor reference close to its cousins, the spotted knapweed and batchelor's button as well as various unrelated thistles, leaves the plant vulnerable to destruction by people attacking non-natives with which it may easily be confused.

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