Saturday, December 11, 2010

Tithonia rotundifolia

Tithonia rotundifolia

Tithonia rotundifolia (Miller) S.F. Blake is an annual native to Mexico and Central America. Depending on the plant's genetics and growing conditions, it grows 3–6 feet tall. It is grown for its large, brilliant orange-red daisies, these being used as cut flowers or as a source of nectar in butterfly gardens. The plant is a serious invasive pest plant in some countries but it is not regarded as invasive in the United States, where it has sparingly escaped cultivation in Florida and Louisiana.

In my garden, plants of Tithonia rotundifolia were severely attacked by various insect pests and a plant virus almost as soon as they germinated and the severely weakened plants barely survived long enough for me to obtain the photograph above before promptly dying without setting seeds. In view of this plant's invasive tendencies in various tropical and subtropical regions, I did not consider its early demise in my garden unfortunate.

© 2010 Rufino Osorio.

No comments: