Named after Count Sámuel Teleki de Szék, the genus Telekia is found natively from southeastern Europe to southern Russia. Two species comprise the genus, and this tall herbaceous perennial (to 2m), Telekia speciosa is by far the most widespread. The epithet speciosa means “showy”, yet despite the moniker, it is not the showiest. That title belongs to its narrow endemic sibling, Telekia speciosissima (“showiest”), found growing only in rocky crevices “of limestone and dolomite boulders in the Lombardy Prealps”. Telekia speciosa is not so fussy when it comes to growing environments: it is found along forest margins, where it can tolerate full sun as long as it is growing in moist soil. In Georgia (and perhaps elsewhere?), it forms part of a special vegetation type called “tall herbs” (see: Ornamental Plants in their Natural Habitats).
A number of common names are used for this species, including showy telekia, oxeye daisy (used for many other species as well), heartleaf oxeye, and yellow oxeye.
For additional photographs, please visit Biolib.cz (Telekia speciosa) and Botany.cz (Telekia speciosa). The Kemper Center for Home Gardening also has a detailed account for gardeners interested in this species: Telekia speciosa.
To BPotD business: for those of you who belong to the Botany Photo of the Day Flickr Pool (and anyone else interested): in celebration of the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity, we’re coordinating UBC Botanical Garden’s educational programming around monthly themes. For BPotD, we are planning to do a week-long series in the respective theme every month. Please see this discussion topic for a list of the themes, as well as suggested tags to help us select images.
Lastly, for local readers, the courses and lectures listing for Jan-Jun 2010 also reflects the 2010 International Year of Biodiversity celebrations — you’re very welcome to join us!