White on White

At a glance starrush whitetop (Rhyncospora colorata), shown above at the Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail on July 15, 2020, appears to be a daisy.  What appear to be long petals are really showy bracts that attract pollinators.

Many of its other common names — star sedge, white-topped sedge, whitetop sedge, star rush, and narrowleaf whitetop sedge — let us know that this plant is a member of the sedge family, Cyperaceae.  Most sedges are wind-pollinated, but starrush whitetop attracts pollinators including the white peacock butterfly (Anartia jatrophae) seen above.

Water hyssop (Bacopa monnieri) and turkey tangle frogfruit (Phyla nodiflora), the white peacock butterfly’s larval host plants, were growing along the trail edges with the starrush whitetop ,,,

Turkey tangle frogfruit also is a larval host plant for this phaon crescent butterfly (Phyciodes phaon) 

Look for this lovely sedge along roadside ditches, as shown below along Oslo Road growing lushly with lyre-leaf sage (Salvia lyrata).

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