Wildflower of the Week by Chick Keller

After a summer full of multi-colored flowers, we’re heading into the season of yellow with a dash of purple. All over the Pajarito Plateau golden flowers are opening. Among them is a type of Goldeneye called heliomeris, which means “pieces of sun.” And when they are blooming en masse, they are a brilliant sight.
 
Heliomeris, an annual plant, grows to a few feet tall on slender stems with narrow, pointed leaves that come in pairs, positioned in opposition along the stem. It does indeed have a golden disk flowers in its center, resembling a golden eye, as opposed to the dark disk flowers of black-eyed susan and sunflower. 
 
A little later in the season you will see a similar plant—Bahia. But Bahia has deeply lobed palm-like leaves and its petals are square and three-toothed where Heliomeris has simple, pointed (notched) leaves. Together, these two flowers will fill the landscape, heralding the gold of chamisa, goldenrod, and match brush.
 
Enjoy.
 
Goldeneye photo by Chick Keller