Gateway to the Classics: Wild-Flower Study by Anna Botsford Comstock
Wild-Flower Study by  Anna Botsford Comstock

The Yellow Daisy, or Black-Eyed Susan

Teacher's Story

These beautiful, showy flowers have rich contrasts in their color scheme. The ten to twenty-ray flowers wave rich, orange banners around the cone of purple-brown disk-flowers. The banners are notched and bent downward at their tips; each banner-flower has a pistil, and develops a seed. The disk-flowers are arranged in a conical, button-like center; the corollas are pink-purple at the base of the tube, but their five recurved, pointed lobes are purple-brown. The anther-tube is purple-brown and the stigmas show the same color; but the pollen is brilliant orange, and adds much to the beauty of the rich, dark florets when it is pushed from the anther-tubes. There is no pappus developed, and the seeds are carried as are the seeds of the white daisy, by being harvested with the seeds of grain.


The stem is strong and erect; the bracts of the involucre, or "shingles," are long, narrow and hairy, the lower ones being longer and wider than those above; they all spread out flat, or recurve below the open flower-head. In blossoming, first the ray-flowers spread wide their banners; then the flowerets around the base of the cone open and push out their yellow pollen through the brown tubes; then day by day the blossoming circle climbs toward the apex—a beautiful way of blossoming upward.


Disk-flower and ray-flower.


The Black-Eyed Susan

Leading thought—This flower should be studied by the outline given in Lesson CXXXV.

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