Mar. 6, 2017

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This white goldenrod has been a head scratcher over the years.  It has had at least thirteen different scientific names.  It was an Aster at one point.  Once it was Unamia, which may have reflected how puzzled the author was.  Modern techniques seem to have settled those questions.  The DNA is sampled.  The data is crunched.  And it ends with a series of fishbone diagrams that sort the relationships among families, genera and species.  There is still room for debate.  Species in the inside of a diagram are pretty certain.  But the ones on the end still leave a little wiggle room.  It's not always clear just where to cut off one diagram, and start another.  Even with modern techniques, botanists are able to debate some of this.  That's OK, because they seem to enjoy the debate, and because the debate itself informs us.

This shot was from Horseshoe Bay on the Keweenaw Peninsula.  It is a very wild and scenic place.  Well worth a visit, but a little tough on low slung vehicles.