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Our Green Hour Challenge #14 Bursting with Color: Composite Flowers

This week’s Outdoor Hour Challenge for us was very enjoyable. Our flower garden is just bursting with color and with garden flowers as our focus we decided to read and observe a special kind of flower, the composite.

“Many plants have their flowers set close together and thus make a mass of color, like the geraniums or the clovers. But there are other plants where there are different kinds of flowers in one head, those at the center doing a certain kind of work for the production of seed, and those around the edges doing another kind of work.”

“Can you see that what you call the flower consists of many flowers set together like a beautiful mosaic? Those at the center are called disc flowers; those around the edges ray flowers.”
Handbook of Nature Study, page 503

We had a great time studying these flowers and now we are going to be looking closer when we see a new flower to see if we can tell if it is a composite or not.

Here are some of our flowers that we observed.

Close up of a pink gilardia…can you see the anthers?

Yellow gilardias

Tickseed or corepesis

Pin cushion flowers where you can really see the flower parts

Pink cosmos, first one of the season

Close up of the different kinds of flowers making up the composite. Can you see the disc flowers and the ray flowers?

My son’s nature journal entry.

We then put the flowers in our press. I am planning on making a flower calendar to make a record of flowers blooming in our yard for each month of the year. This will be a beautiful way to document our flower study throughout the year by pressing some flowers blooming in each month, pressing them, and then affixing them to card stock with the month neatly labeled on each page. I will share our first month’s page when these are ready to be added.

Another great week in our garden. My son and I both learned something new and enjoyed our time outdoors with a focus and purpose.

8 thoughts on “Our Green Hour Challenge #14 Bursting with Color: Composite Flowers

  1. Barb,
    I just love these flowers. I’d never even heard of a composite flower until I tried to identify a week in my yard.
    You have to check out the black background poster on the wikipedia article for asteraceae (asters) at
    If you click on the photo, it takes you to another page. Then you can click on the individual flowers. Eye-popping.

  2. WOW, I learned so much from your post today =o) and I just LOVE your PICS!!!!! Your garden sounds just BEAUTIFUL!! Please tell your son I think is Nature Journals entries are GREAT!! Thanks for sharing!!–Angie in GA

  3. What beautiful flowers! What a neat idea for a calendar.

    Wonderful journal entry too.


  4. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for your blog! I love it! I can’t wait to do all the challenges with my little ones!

  5. Gorgeous photos! My Handbook… should arrive this week. I am so excited to implement this book into our studies. I love your blog, what a wonderful resource.

  6. These are absolutely beautiful flower photos! We made a couple of flower presses today and already have two new wildflowers we just identified in them. Thanks!

    Blessings, Melissa

  7. Oh so pretty… The pin cushion one was my favorite!

    The pictures and close ups were phenomenal… beautiful…

  8. The idea of a flower calendar is inspired. Great idea. Can’t wait to see how it works out.

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