The Yeller Rocket

Packera glabella, is a special plant to me. When I lived in the Missouri Bootheel, this species

I was very pleased to find Packera glabella on a ditchbank near our mailbox.

I was very pleased to find Packera glabella on a ditchbank near our mailbox.

could carpet the land – especially if there had been flooding. The Dorena, MO locals call this plant ‘Yeller Rocket’ I guess because of the speed with which it dominates landscape.

The reason for this abundance is the plant is annual that sets abundant seed. If conditions are wet, this plant can do very well. If conditions are wet and flooding has exposed bare ground, this plant can do extremely well. The plant will germinate and leaf out in the fall and store energy all winter so that it can seemingly ROCKET out of the ground.

The plant is heavily visited by pollinating insects, so my draw to the plant should be obvious. Here in Tennessee it is hilly (drains well) and we don’t have large, flat, wet areas, so I only find scattered P. glabella along ditch banks. I mention this because plant distribution is an important aspect of botany and a plant that is abundant in one place (Missouri Bootheel) may not be abundant 50 km away (Obion County, TN). The explanations may not always be easy or simple, but that is what makes botany fun!

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One thought on “The Yeller Rocket

  1. AnthonyZ

    I’ve been photographing the random flowering weeds of our backyard for something to do before this last obnoxious freeze! Now to wait for some fruits to verify identities….

    Reply

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