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.
Goldeneye photo by Chick Keller