A Starburst Of …

What is this?
What is this?

Today, a quiz!  What is this?


  • Six of us found these unusual starbursts sticking out of the ground at Wolf Creek Narrows, Lawrence County, Pennsylvania on October 14.
  • The starburst measures 1.25 inches across.
  • The stalk stands a foot tall.
  • There are no leaves on the stalk nor at the base of the stalk.
  • Each tip ends in a shiny black bead. (Some of the beads fell off my specimen.)
  • A Google image search on this photo results in pictures of jewelry.  🙂

Bonus Question:  What U.S. city is named for this plant?

Leave a comment with your answer.  After you’ve had a chance to vote I’ll post the answer in the Comments.


(photo by Kate St. John)

7 thoughts on “A Starburst Of …

  1. First thought was some type of allium – search suggested what we know colloquially as “ramps”, although I don’t think I’ve ever seen these in person – continued search says Chicago is named after these wild delicacies! Who knew?

    What do I win for all of my hard search engine work, lol?!

  2. Wow! That was quick! Everyone knows the answer.

    Yes, this starburst is the dried flower structure and seeds of the Ramp, Allium tricoccum. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allium_tricoccum

    The U.S. city named for this plant is, yes, Chicago. Back in the day, ramps grew in profusion next to the Chicago River. The local native American word for ramps sounded like “Chicago.” In their language it was the Ramp River.

    In retrospect I find it interesting that we found so many ramps growing on the flood plain of Wolf Creek. Maybe it should be called “Ramp Creek” …

  3. I’m just proud that my first thought was allium. I didn’t guess the more specific ramp. I didn’t even know that you could goggle search an image. I’m such a dinosaur.

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