Star Toadflax Flowers in the Forest

Star Toadflax, also known as Bastard Toadflax, is flowering in the woods here in south central Pennsylvania.

It’s a semi-parasitic plant native to all of North America, even Canada and Alaska. Hawaii, Louisiana and Florida are the only U. S. states that don’t report Comandra umbellata as being present. Star toadflax is a member of the Sandalwood family, Santalaceae.

Bastard Toadflax Flowering at the Edge of the Woods
Bastard Toadflax Flowering at the Edge of the Woods

Here’s something I hadn’t known about this little plant

and that is it’s a larval host and a nectar source for a brown and orange butterfly known as the Common Buckeye, Junonia coenia.

The common buckeye butterfly is noted by their large eye spots and two orange fore-wing bars on a brown background. We’ve seen them fluttering around here in the summertime, but not yet this season. Maybe it just hasn’t been quite warm enough for them to get going, but we’ll be on the lookout.

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