The photo above shows a close-up of the inflorescence of bachelor's button. Note that the outermost ring of discoid flowers are much longer than those toward the center of the head, and that they flare widely outward to make a trumpet-like shape. Photographed at Catherine Creek, central Columbia River Gorge.......June 3, 2006.
Bachelor's button is a showy annual or winter annual with weed-like tendencies. The herbage is somewhat white-tomentose, especially when young. The narrow leaves are usually linear in shape with entire margins, although the lower leaves may have several narrow lobes. Individual leaves are up to 13 cm long and 1 cm wide.
The flower heads terminate the branches. The involucre is mostly 11-16 mm tall, with striate bracts with fringed tips. The flowers are usually a dark blue, but may also be purple, pink, or white. The corollas are irregular.
Bachelor's button is a widely used ornamental plant which has escaped into the wild. It may be found in disturbed places such as fields, waste places, and roadsides.
Native to the Mediterranean region, bachelor's button is found over much of the United States.
In the Columbia River Gorge, it is primarily found between the west end of the gorge and The Dalles, OR between the elevations of 100'-1400'.