Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Tickseed Sunflower Along Quakerbridge Road

Take a drive out towards Route 1 on Quaker Road and you'll find the roadside near the canal filled with bright yellow. Though goldenrod plays a part, the chief protagonist is tickseed sunflower. Unlike the many species of native perennial sunflower, this one's an annual, in the genus Bidens.

Bidens was one of the showiest wildflowers along bike trails when I lived in Durham, NC, and though I'd lived here in Princeton for four years, I had yet to see it growing here in abundance until I turned the corner on Quaker Bridge Road and saw it stretching out across a broad field.

This photo was taken a few days past full bloom, but halfway out into the field was a bright yellow world teaming with monarch butterflies bouncing from sunflower to sunflower. The butterflies are by now making the long journey to a hilltop in Mexico for the winter, and the Bidens are making seeds for next year's Really Big Show.

1 comment:

  1. There was another big swath of tickseed sunflower in the utility ROW that cuts through the woods behind Rider University.

    Another cut through those woods is the historic ROW for the Trenton-Lawrenceville-Princeton trolley line.

    Toni Robbi, E. Amwell Env. Comm.