Here we are in late spring. Seeing the prairie flowers begin their parade of blooms this year has been providing me with much needed mental respite from the travails of enduring the fallout of the coronavirus pandemic. The resilience of spring flowers in the face of an ever-changing environment, and their interdependence with pollinators offer good reminders of what we should aspire to in ourselves.
Speaking of interdependence, last year I posted an essay describing the lifestyle of a late-summer blooming hemiparasitic plant found on my Loess Hills prairie called Slenderleaf false foxglove (Agalinis tenuifolia).
This year, I thought I would use my first Wildflower Wednesday post to describe another curious hemiparasitic plant living on my prairie, the almost ghostly pale-green Downy Yellow Painted Cup (Castilleja sessiliflora). Its other common names include yellow Indian paintbrush or downy paintbrush.