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A long leafless stalk bends slightly, from the weight of a star, sitting bright and yellow on its crown.
 
She likes to sit alone sometimes, at its feet, suspended on a lobe springing from its leafy rosette. Today, she has a book about stars.
 
She likes the creakiness of it. It makes a nice sound when she turns the pages. It reminded her of the old mahogany stairs at her grandma's house. She turns another page. It has a picture of another star, called Lambda Leonis.
 
She often looked up at the one above her and wondered where it went at night. But now she knew it was still there, just hiding. One day, she learned, it would shrivel up and die - except it wouldn't be dead. It would shrink to a bulb the size of her fist, and then suddenly, it would burst out like a white firework, and all the little pieces would fly out and make other little stars, somewhere else, very far away.
 
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I wrote this puzzle for my girlfriend this morning. She likes stories and plants, but doesn't like puzzles. :\

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Sunflower? Seems a little too obvious, and I don't think it fits all of it...

 

That's not such a bad guess, but there's a better answer that fits the rest of the clues.

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Yup.  :thumbsup: 

 

The last paragraph is a bit of a dead giveaway, but there are other more subtle hints scattered throughout.

 

The dandelion is a genus of the family

Asteracae, which comes from the word aster, which means "star". The star mentioned in the second paragraph, Lambda Leonis, is part of the zodiac constellation Leo, latin for "lion". In particular, Lambda Leonis constitutes the head of the lion, while the name "dandelion" comes from the French "dent de lion", which translates to "tooth of lion". The final paragraph is not referring to the sun, but to the way the dandelion flower only opens up during the day and "hides" at night.  The dandelion flower eventually dries up and "dies", marking its transformation into a seed head, which resembles a white firework. As we all know, the seeds are then blown away by little children. Similarly, a dying star shrinks to a fraction of its size and then explodes, sending out a shockwave which sometimes triggers the formation of other stars. The remainder of the hints are of the dandelion plant's physical traits (long leafless stalk, rosette of leaves, lobed, etc).

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