The Humble Xylorhiza tortifolia Calflora...I think



As I was biking up the street in Las Cruces, NM, near my home, I came upon a quite enchanting and striking wildflower. I snapped a few photos and went along with my day. They are so charming I wondered if they weren't an actual domesticated flower that had accidentally seeded from someone's garden. 

Though as I sifted through Google image searches, I would get different names for the same flower based on different photos. Other possible options include the New England Aster. Alpine Aster also came up.

I was leaning towards Xylorhiza tortifolia because it was at least found primarily in the southwest of the US. Xylorhiza wrightii−Big Bend aster was yet another option because it is found in Texas, which is not far away (Remember, Las Cruces is next door to El Paso, TX. I could be in El Paso in 30 minutes.)

The day after I took the photos above, I was going through a box of seeds I had collected about two years ago. I wanted to see what might be good options to plant in my current garden. And out dropped a packet of Aster Wartburg seeds (East Indies Aster). Which looks very similar to these but larger. I thought, what are the odds I bought seeds of something so close to these about two years ago, then never got around to planting them. Then rediscovered all of this by accident within 24 hours! I planted these seeds to see how they compare.

The common thing with all of these flowers is that they are all variations of purple asters. Maybe subgroups of the same thing, but variations based on their own local climates and how they've evolved over the years.

I think I'm going to be adding these to my shop later in the year. I've fallen in love with them.