Karen Schuster (Class of 2008) sent this fabulous fall photo of dogfennel (Eupatorium capillifolium) in flower. An aggressive native of moist places throughout the eastern and south central U.S., dog fennel is frequently regarded as a weed of pastures and disturbed places, but, during the early fall when in flower, dogfennel is quite spectacular. Its seeds are dispersed by winds in November and December. This perennial plant that also spreads by suckers is dormant in the dead of winter. Its foliage, when crushed, emits a distinctive fragrance.
The flowering of dogfennel is a sure sign of Florida Fall, as is the flowering of its relative, lateflowering thoroughwort (Eupatorum serotinum), shown below near the second wetland crossover bridge at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area …
You also can see this plant in the upland setaside area of the (Pelican Island) Audubon House at the northern side of the parking lot.
Both of these members of the sunflower family, Asteraceae, attract pollinators and remind the observant that fall is here in Florida.