Friday flowers…royal catchfly

Posted: September 25, 2020 in flowers
Tags: , , , , , ,

These are from McDowell Forest Preserve in Naperville, Illinois. Not many new flowers around here right now, but these bring back some good memories. I don’t remember what these are called, but there were only one or two plants in the entire park. In fact, I was going to go the lazy woman’s route and just say I didn’t know what they were because it’s not always easy trying to identify a flower or tree online. But I decided to give it a try, looking up “wildflowers Illinois” via DuckDuckGo and lo and behold, I found a photo right on the first page! They’re Royal Catchfly, (Silene regia) the name probably deriving from the sticky hairs that catch insects. These plants have endangered status in Illinois, so I guess I was fortunate to see them!

Red is an uncommon color among prairie plants because many pollinating insects (e.g., bees) are insensitive to this range of the light spectrum. However, some butterflies perceive red, and for this reason are attracted to such flowers. The flowers of Royal Catchfly have a design that favors butterflies as pollinating agents: They have a proboscis that is sufficiently long to reach the nectar at the bottom of the long narrow tube that is formed by the calyx, while the flared petals provide a colorful landing platform for their legs. Illinois Wildflowers

Evidently they’re also pollinated by the ruby-throated hummingbird, according to Wikipedia. At any rate, they’re very attractive!

Had to laugh because evidently I looked them up before. When I typed the name into my tags, it popped up. πŸ™‚ Just didn’t remember what I’d forgotten.

Comments
  1. de Wets Wild says:

    What a beautiful way for a fly to meet its demise!

  2. That is a lovely flower and I like the colour too!🌹

  3. Su Leslie says:

    Beautiful. Thanks for the information too Janet. Hope your weekend is going well

  4. Resa says:

    Lovely flower, and an even better nature lesson. Love it!

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