111 views on 9/27/11. SOLD a photographic print of this on 10/14/11.
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10/16/12 – Featured in the SERENITY Group.
Thank you to Carla Wick/Jandelle Petters for identifying these wildflowers for me!
I am so thankful that nature is able to recover quickly from any kind of natural or man made disaster! Seeing the charred and broken landscape, after the Robert Fire, broke my heart, especially since this is one of our favorite places to camp in the summer.
These Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) are extremely resilient and prolific, filling the void that was created by the Robert Fire when it swept through the Great Northern Flats and jumped the river into Glacier National Park (Montana, USA) in 2005. I’m having trouble looking them up to identify them, because the blossoms had already dropped off when I took this photo. The few petals that remain are yellow, and the flowers cluster together up the stalk, like lupines.
I’m entering this in the Habitats and Landscapes – Shadows challenge in the Nature Photography Challenge group.
Photo taken August 13, 2011 with a Kodak EasyShare Z712 IS camera.
Verbascum thapsus (Great or Common Mullein) is a species of mullein native to Europe, northern Africa and Asia, and introduced in the Americas and Australia.
It is a hairy biennial plant that can grow to 2 m or more tall. Its small yellow flowers are densely grouped on a tall stem, which bolts from a large rosette of leaves. It grows in a wide variety of habitats, but prefers well-lit disturbed soils, where it can appear soon after the ground receives light, from long-lived seeds that persist in the soil seed bank. It is a common weedy plant that spreads by prolifically producing seeds, but rarely becomes aggressively invasive, since its seed require open ground to germinate. It is a very minor problem for most agricultural crops, since it is not a very competitive species, being intolerant of shade from other plants and unable to survive tilling. It also hosts many insects, some of which can be harmful to other plants. Although individuals are easy to remove by hand, populations are difficult to eliminate permanently.
It is widely used for herbal remedies with emollient and astringent properties. It is especially recommended for coughs and related problems, but also used in topical applications against a variety of skin problems. The plant was also used to make dyes and torches.
In the United States it was imported very early in the 18th[ century and cultivated for its medicinal and piscicide property. By 1818, it had begun spreading so much that Amos Eaton thought it was a native plant. In 1839 it was already reported in Michigan and in 1876, in California. It is now found commonly in all the states. In Canada, it is most common in the Maritime Provinces as well as southern Quebec, Ontario and British Columbia, with scattered populations in between.
Great Mullein most frequently grows as a colonist of bare and disturbed soil, usually on sandy or chalky ones. It grows best in dry, sandy or gravelly soils, although it can grow in a variety of habitats, including banksides, meadows, roadsides, forest clearings and pastures. This ability to grow in a wide range of habitats has been linked to strong phenotype variation rather than adaptation capacities.
[from the wikipedia article]