Apr. 29, 2022

What is this?

These white blooms provide a nice pale accent among the Texas bluebonnets and Indian paintbrush, but what are they? If you look close, is there a little bit on the top of the sepal that looks like the brim of a cap? And the flowers are the right shape. Skullcap? Go to USDA, do a state search for Texas Scutellaria, and check out the options. Nope! Not a Texas skullcap. Maybe a sage? Repeat the process for Salvia. Nope. Sure do wish they would publish that volume of Flora of North America! But lacking that technical option, go to the common way. Is this in Wildflowers of the United States, Texas volume? Nope!? Is it really that rare? Not in Wildflowers of the Big Thicket?! Scroll through an appropriate list from The National Wildflower Center website. Really?! No one else appreciates this flower? OK, seriously, what are the options. Not a mint. Not among the plantain family flowers. Flowers like this could be acanthus or broomrape family? Flower bracts different than lower leaves could be either of those. Try broomrape? A USDA search for Texas Orobanchaceae, then search each name until it's there or it"s not? But it only took until the Bs. Bellardia. Then Bellardia trixago, Mediterranean lineseeed! Another invader, but a pretty one. You might see it now in CA, LA, or TX. Big Thicket National Park, Tyler Co TX, 4/16/22. Broomrape family, Orobanchaceae.