While hiking Billy Goat A in search of cactus blossoms and the S1 plant I mentioned last time, I saw two different stands of these lovely flowers.
They’re Ionactis linariifolia (Asteraceae), one of the few aster species that I can ID on sight, because of the stiff, linear leaves, which might be unique among Maryland Piedmont asters. Don’t quote me on that; I didn’t scroll through all 41 species (in five genera) to find out.
The specific epithet refers to leaves resembling those of the genus Linaria; also it sounds like “linear”, which is how they are shaped.
At any rate, the reason I want to highlight them today is that I’ve only ever seen them blooming in October. Most asters don’t even start until September, maybe late August.
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