art.ht1sm.jpg (10259 bytes) Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) Also called Star Thistle and Bachelor's Button

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"And God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.   And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day" (Genesis 1:31)

Wild Flowers of Sleepy Hollow Lake
- Knapweed (Centaurea spp.) -
Also called Star Thistle and Bachelor's Button

(click on the photos to enlarge)
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wfshl-knapweed1.jpg (51101 bytes) (Knapweed - 01) The knapweed, a member of the Composite family, is a European native that escaped from cultivation.  The leaves of this species are lanceolate (shaped like a lance) and alternate on the stem.  The blooms develop on the head of the scale-like bracts in the same manner as do the thistles, which led to the name "star-thistle".
wfshl-knapweed2.jpg (44612 bytes) (Knapweed - 02) This ten times normal size photo of the knapweed clearly shows the bloom atop its scale-like bract.  The knapweed bloom is made up of numerous tiny tubular flowers, the outermost of which are more distinguishable as individual "five-petaled" flowers.
wfshl-knapweed3.jpg (37653 bytes) (Knapweed - 03) This is an approximately seven times normal size enlargement of the top view of the knapweed bloom showing its many individual flowers.  In the following two photos, we will zoom-in on some of these flowers for a closer look.
wfshl-knapweed3a.jpg (27215 bytes) (Knapweed - 03a) In this more than twenty times enlarged photo of the knapweed we can see more of the structure of the white-topped tubular flowers.
wfshl-knapweed3b.jpg (30809 bytes) (Knapweed - 03b) This is a more than twenty times enlarged view of the unfolding center of the knapweed bloom and some of the individual flowers.
wfshl-knapweed4.jpg (51226 bytes) (Knapweed - 04) Even a common wildflower like the knapweed has been blessed with such magnificently detailed beauty that it is quite easy to understand why English maidens would wear these "bachelor's buttons" as a sign of their eligibility for marriage.
wfshl-knapweed5.jpg (58266 bytes) (Knapweed - 05) The literature says that knapweed bloom from June through August, but we have seen them blooming well into September.
wfshl-knapweed6.jpg (62487 bytes) (Knapweed - 06) Although the bloom heads of the knapweed resemble the thistle, most species of this wildflower have no spines.
wfshl-knapweed7.jpg (32925 bytes) (Knapweed - 07) In this photo we can see the bulbous bases of many of the individual flowers of the knapweed bloom.
wfshl-knapweed8.jpg (60937 bytes) (Knapweed - 08) It's a little after 6:30 in the morning, and I'm sitting here in front of the computer contemplating how beautifully God has created everything, of which this knapweed represents only an extremely small part.  Then, all of a sudden my peace and meditation is shattered by hunters along the Hudson River.  It sounds as though a war has broken out, but it is only the reverberation of the hunters' depraved indifference to the pain of another of God's magnificent creations.  It is the sadistic sound that comes from taking pleasure in causing suffering and death.  Only a spiritually, morally, and ethically deficient person would deliberately take a life rather than preserve it.
wfshl-knapweed9.jpg (48132 bytes) (Knapweed - 09) Knapweed grow to heights of one to three feet and can be found in fields, along roadsides, and most other open areas.   We have several plants growing up through the rip-rap along our shoreline.   Knapweed have spread across most of the United States.
wfshl-knapweed9a.jpg (26694 bytes) (Knapweed - 09a) This is a close up view of one of the knapweed's scale-like bracts before the flowers spring forth from the top.
wfshl-knapweed10.jpg (39312 bytes) (Knapweed - 10) This is another of the close-up photos that show the bulbous bases of the numerous individual flowers that make up the knapweed's composite bloom.
wfshl-knapweed10a.jpg (42304 bytes) (Knapweed - 10a) This is an approximately thirty times enlargement of a few of the lower perimeter flowers of the knapweed composite bloom.
wfshl-knapweed11.jpg (41714 bytes) (Knapweed - 11) Like a star-burst at a 4th of July fireworks display, the knapweed sends forth its flowers in all directions, hopefully to receive the same "oohs and aahs" over its beauty.  The more we appreciate the little things in life and work to preserve them, the more we will learn to appreciate all life and become the true peacemakers who will preserve it.
(Knapweed - 12)  In this photo, we're looking down at the top of a knapweed flower with its fully opened ray flowers, and nearly fully opened disk flowers.
(Knapweed - 12a)  In this bee's eye view of a knapweed flower, we can see that the disk flowers open from the outside toward the center of the disk.  We also have a close up look at some of the ray flowers.  We are always fascinated by the amount of detail that God puts into His creations.

(Knapweed - 13)  We took this photo of a knapweed flower early in the morning while it was still covered with dew.

(Knapweed - 13a)  In this close up photo, we can see the tiny dewdrops coating the knapweed ray flowers.

(Knapweed - 14)  This is a knapweed bloom covered with early morning dewdrops.
(Knapweed - 14a)  This is a close up look at some of the 5-petaled knapweed ray flowers covered in dewdrops.

(Knapweed - 15)  This is another look at a dewdrop covered knapweed bloom.

(Knapweed - 16)  This is a top view of a recently opened knapweed bloom that clearly show the individual ray flowers surrounding the central cluster of disc flowers.
(Knapweed - 16a)  This is a close up view of the disc and ray flowers of the knapweed.  Note that the central disc flowers are not yet opened.
(Knapweed - 17)  This is another look at a knapweed bloom.
(Knapweed - 17a)  In this bee's eye view, we can see more of the details of the disc and ray flowers of the knapweed.
(Knapweed - 18)  The stem leaves of the knapweed grow alternately along the stems and are lance-shaped.
(Knapweed - 19)  This is a closer look at some of the stem leaves of the knapweed.
(Knapweed - 20)  This is another look at the stem leaves of the knapweed (looking down the stem).
(Knapweed - 20a)  This is a closer look at the newly developing knapweed branch that is growing from the leaf axil with it leaves and terminal flowering bract.
(Knapweed - 21)  In this photo, we can clearly see the stem branch of the knapweed growing from a mature leaf axil.
(Knapweed - 22)  A knapweed plant viewed from above.
(Knapweed - 23)  David Emmerson took this photo early in the morning of 28 Jun 2009 at a meadow in Colchester, Essex, UK.  Our thanks to David for sending us the photo.

| Wild Flowers of SHL: Photo Identification, Common Name, Scientific Name | Art and Photos |

Presented here are just a few of the countless components of God's creation.  Just as we cannot have human and animal life without water and plants, neither can we have lasting peace without love and compassion.  It is our hope and prayer that this series will motivate people to live and act in a cruelty-free manner; that we would no longer hurt or destroy each other, the animals or our environment.

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