Disk flowers

I’ve been so proud of myself knowing the difference between disk flowers and ray flowers.

I took a picture of a cosmos blossom because I was intrigued by the pink edged ray flowers. I got home and downloaded the photo. When I reviewed the photo I noticed miniature stars emerging from the disk! Is that why the plant is called “cosmos?”

That started me thinking about purple cone flower (PCF) with its tiny yellow stamens emerging from a forest of orange spikes. I have in the past imagined disk flowers to all be little fields of fuzzy yellow (or brown). I’d noticed standouts like PCF and zinnia before but cosmos made me realize that I should be paying closer attention to these smaller scales of existence. Note the mite on the rudbeckia.

I’m not sure I needed to include so many examples but I couldn’t decide which to leave out. Perhaps because the ray flowers (petals) also show diversity.

Of course, other types of flowers can be creative too.


For more info about composite flowers: https://www.gardenguides.com/123630-parts-composite-flower.html.

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