Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One Leaf

The plant itself is a clump of leaves growing from a single point on the ground. We plant nerds call that a basal rosette. Each rough textured leaf is about knee high to the tip. The older the plant gets, the more the clump opens out.
Later in the summer, one or two or maybe three tall leafless branched stalks will rise, with yellow sunflower-type flowers at the tips. These flower stalks will be around five or six feet tall so pollinators can find the flowers above the tops of the tallgrass prairie grasses.
A single leaf is most lovely when lit from behind, when you can see the veining structure in detail and each individual plant cell. There is beauty in the functional structure of this plant before it even takes to setting on the buds for its flowers!
It is prairie dock.

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