Top down

Sounds like a cliche from the corporate office, eh. 😉 However in botany there is another meaning. And the word is determinate. This means that the flower blooms from the top down.

The Narrow-leaf Gayfeather (Liatris punctata var mucronata) is a plant that is determinate.
And our field is just plum full of them!
As the afternoon warmed up the butterflies became more active like this Gulf Fritillary!
A Giant Swallowtail!
A worn Sleepy Orange (Abaeis nicippe) on a fallen Gayfeather. So they both must have tire.
So this tiny black moth has escaped my identification efforts. It is a fairly common moth. Perhaps you know what it is?

Here is a moth that I eagerly await for when the Narrow-leaf Gayfeathers start to bloom. It is the Bleeding Flower Moth (Schinia sanguinea)! Now this critter stayed put for several hours. I hoped it was laying eggs. Last year I was unsuccessful in raising the larvae. Maybe this year!

Indeed it was another beautiful fall day from the top of morning to the bottom of day. Thank you Suzanne for introducing the word determinate to me several years ago. FYI, the opposite is indeterminate. Now if I can only remember that from year to year. 🙂

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  1. Ohhh! This explains why determinate tomatoes and potatoes stop, they get to the bottom and are done. Indeterminate tomatoes and potatoes keep growing!! Also, I’ve seen that black moth in Norman , and I don’t know, and our moth friend here didn’t know it last time either. I’ll ask him again.

  2. Mary, You’re welcome! Just remember that determinate means the flowering stem reaches its endpoint length before the flowers start to open. Indeterminate means the flowers start opening lower on the stem and the stem continues to elongate as the buds open, i.e. the endpoint is undetermined.

    Prairie wild Hyacinth (Camassia scilloides) is a good example of an Indeterminate inflorescense.

  3. Suzanne, Your explanation brings clarity to the terms for me. The flora and all the places I had looked did not word it in a way that stuck with me. I was stuck just looking at it from the blooming order of the flowers. Now the terms actually make more sense and maybe I will be able to remember the words’ meaning. THANK YOU!

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