Saturday, February 25, 2012
X ~ Xerophyllum tenax, Bear Grass
The dreaded "X" !!!
Bear Grass is a fun, showy plant and some people look forward to its blooming every year. They can be quite dominant and abundant on sunny slopes and meadows all the way up to the tree line. The flower clusters are quite scented and attract bugs galore. It is always a good bet for some kind of bug photography.
Bears do like the early , fresh leaves of this plant. The leaves look much like tough wiry grass but the early shoots are quite juicy and fleshy.
The flowers stalks and leaves dry during their die-back. Native peoples used the tough leaves as materials for making hats , capes and baskets.
The name Xero (dry) phyllum (grass) tenax ( tough) tells you this.
The above Bear Grass blossom was photographed at Sun Top and the bug is a syrphidae fly.
The picture below was taken in July, on the upper meadow of Bandera Mountain, above I-90 just west of the summit.