Tuesday, August 1, 2023

Starry rosinweed is a star in Florida yards

Starry rosinweed is a star in your garden not only
for its beauty and long blooming cycle, but also because
of the wide variety of pollinators that it attracts.

Starry Rosinweed (Silphium asteriscus) is a member of the aster or daisy family, Asteraceae and is a wonderful choice for Florida's wildflower meadows and for pollinator gardens. It's a beautiful, tall, long-lived, drought tolerant, easy-to-care-for wildflower. (See below for more information on how it behaves in gardens and meadows.)

Botanically, the starry rosinweed is an outlier in the aster family. Yes, its flower head has the typical arrangement of disk florets in the center surrounded by showy ray florets that each have one outsized petal. 

In most aster family plants with this typical flower head arrangement such as sunflowers, only the tiny, cylindrical disk florets in the center produce fruits or seeds, while the petal-like ray florets around the outside of the center are sterile and produce no fruits. The starry rosinweed is exactly the opposite with its ray florets producing fruits and the disk florets being sterile.