I took a summer wildflowers class in July, and Wingstem was not yet in bloom. Still it was a notable plant, because its stem indeed had little “wings” on either side, making it a tactile pleasure. Melanie, our teacher, brought it into class a few times.
This week Melanie was on the Rock Creek Park episode of the Kojo Namdi show discussing her new book and mentioned that Wingstem is finally in bloom.
I had just been birding at Hughes Hollow near the C&O Canal where I saw these large sunflower-ish flowers that our Fearless Leader called “Winged Sunflower.” I reached out to touch, and my fingers remembered before my brain quite did- I had found the Wingstem in bloom!