While watching this YouTube video, Botanical Field trip at Saxon Park the other day, I came across this term, coma. So usually when I hear the term coma, I think of the definition as “a state of deep unconsciousness that lasts for a prolonged or indefinite period, caused especially by severe injury or illness.” This definition is Greek.

However in Latin it means hair! Can you see where this is going? Priscilla Crawford, Oklahoma Biological Survey Conservation Biologist was collecting milkweed seeds at the park. Priscilla was of course calling the split open seeds fluff, but in the subtext there was the term coma! Quick crack open the FNCT! And the definition is (a) a tuft of soft hairs or trichomes, as at the apices or bases of some seeds; (b) tuft of bracts projecting from the heads of some Eryngium species.

A fall coma, Splitbeard Bluestem!

Dandelion (Pyrrhopappus) coma!

Cattail coma!

Green Milkweed (Asclepias viridis) free!

Pre-fluff or pre-coma cycle!

The spin cycle has started!

Wavy-leaf Thistle (Cirsium undulatum) is another one with plenty of coma!

Our willow tree had started to fluff a few weeks ago!

This would be the second definition. Eryngo (Eryngium leavenworthii) coma is certainly not fluffy! A very prickly top coma!

So now you are updated with the botanical terms for coma. FYI, I actually like term fluff better for the fluffy stuff.

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Keep looking!

The more you know, the more you see and the more you see, the more you know.


  1. Kudos to the UK for trying out an American prairie landscape! I sure hope nothing becomes invasive for them though.

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