Just because it’s in the swath where I scattered sunflower seeds doesn’t mean this is a sunflower. I can understand mistaking a syrphid fly for a bee, or hemp dogbane for milkweed, or the various other misidentifications I have made. But you’d think I’d recognize a Black-Eyed Susan when every summer I walk around admiring the grand drifts of bright yellow flowers in everyone’s yard. Everyone’s but mine. Now I don’t have to feel so left out.
For one thing, the plant looks totally different from a sunflower: multiple stems (not one thick one), long leaves (not broad ones), and not nearly the bucket loads of pollen the sunflower was dropping during its week of glory. Also it’s been flowering for a couple weeks now, and more flowers keep coming. (Still no bees, though.) And it’s pretty hard to miss the way the the disc pops out instead of the center sinking in.
Like the sunflowers and so many other plants, it’s a volunteer, and one I’ve been hoping to see for years. It’s welcome to stay.