Indian Mallow

indian mallow in bloom
Indian Mallow

The light was dim this morning, but it suited this plant. One of my favorite wildflowers, also known as Velvet Leaf for its large heart-shaped fuzzy leaves, blooming with tiny orange blossoms at the tips of these green cones as you see in the flower in the background waiting to open, and the blossom’s ovaries that always reminded me of the ovaries left after a poppy blossom falls apart. These blossoms last only a few hours, withering to nothing in just a day, while the green ovaries expand and then the plant dries to a warm brown. I love dried wildflowers, so dramatic, and I am letting these grow in my garden to attract and serve the pollinators but because they are considered pest plants, capable of taking over a field of just about anything, I cut the plant down as soon as the seed heads and stem are fairly dry. In midwinter, they come inside and sit in a vase against a blank wall where I can study them.

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