Euphorbia corollata; Euphorbiaceae (spurge family)
Coreopsis, Erigeron, Eupatorium, Helenium, Helianthus, Hieracium, Rudbeckia, Solidago, Vernonia – this is the season of the aster family. It was so refreshing to see something from another family growing on the rocky bluffs above the river.
This three-foot tall perennial herb will grow in a variety of soil conditions, and can be found in its native range from the Atlantic west to the Great Plains, from Ontario south to Florida. The five white petals you see are actually bracts (modified leaves, often brightly colored); the flowers are tiny little things in the center. Two other well-known plants whose bracts are mistaken for petals: flowering dogwood, and this Euphorbia’s very popular cousin poinsettia (E. pulcherrima).
Here’s what it looks like about a week before blooming:
I love how the very tips of the upper leaves turn white.