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General view July7, 2003 Our field is growing by leaps and bounds. Just a week ago the plants were only 3 feet tall.  The plants have great color.  It won't be long and we'll have some flowers.  Let's take a closer look. 

24 leaf plantThese plants are about 55 inches tall, which means they have grown about 20 inches in seven days. Unbelievable.  I counted 24 leaves on this plant.

55 inch plant headThis is the flower head. You can see the green bracts covering the actual flower head. This plant is in the R3 stage.   Believe it or not, but our field will be blooming within a couple weeks. 

55 inch plant head side viewWhen the base of the flower head has elongated about an inch from the last leaf it is in the R3 stage. Sometimes it's difficult to tell, but you have to look closely under the flower head and see how far it has separated from the upper most leaf.  

Head size range 1I found a plant that was in the R2 stage. The flower head is less than 3/4 inch from the upper most leaf. 

Leaf skeletonWell, this isn't a good sign. This leaf and other leaves on surrounding plants have been chewed up so badly there's just a leaf skeleton remaining.  It appears we caught the culprit responsible for this damage. It is the caterpillar of the painted lady butterfly.