Posts Tagged ‘flowers’

With a name like that, you’d expect something special…and you’d get it. I’m not sure if fairies use it for dusting or if you dust fairies with it, but either way I’d love to have a supply of them in my cleaning closet or in my garden.

While viewing yesterday’s osprey, I chatted with a couple, then shared with them where the white flowers are once again blooming off the beaten path. You’ve seen these before, once in a video and in a macro. But this time I had a bit of a surprise. They knew exactly what these beautiful flowers were and they weren’t what I expected.

The couple told me that these are datura and very poisonous! As for names? Moonflower sounds nice, but devil’s weed, hell’s bells and devil’s trumpet? Not so much.

Datura is a genus of nine species of poisonous vespertine flowering plants belonging to the family Solanaceae. They are commonly known as thornapples or jimsonweeds but are also known as devil’s trumpets (not to be confused with angel’s trumpets, which are placed in the closely related genus Brugmansia). Other English common names include moonflower, devil’s weed and hell’s bells. The Mexican common name toloache (also spelled tolguacha) derives from the Nahuatl tolohuaxihuitl, meaning “the plant with the nodding head” (in reference to the nodding seed capsules of Datura species belonging to section Dutra of the genus). Wikipedia

Datura wrap-up waiting to bloom…

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Scrolling through some photo files from a few years ago, I came across this photo taken in Illinois where water is generally abundant. I’m not likely to get many dew/raindrop photos in Arizona, but I also wouldn’t be getting spoonbill or cacti shots if we were still in Illinois. 🙂 This is a close-up with a telephoto lens, meaning I had to stand about 6′ away. When I took my Nikon, I didn’t always want to carry extra lenses. Needs must.

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. 🙂 Just didn’t remember what I’d forgotten.

Barrel cactus look a lot like a spiny barrel. No surprise, right? But you might be surprised at how beautiful the flowers are. Yellow and orange are the most common colors, pink and red less frequent. But whatever the color, the flowers only bloom on top of the cactus. Barrel cactus are usually about 3′ or less, although some have been found as tall as 9′. Whatever the height, they can live to be 100 years old.

Fun fact, courtesy of Wikipedia:

Barrel cactus can fall over because they grow based on sun orientation. They usually grow towards the south to prevent surface tissue sunburn, giving the name “compass cactus.”

And here’s my favorite cactus quote:

I bought a cactus. A week later it died. And I got depressed, because I thought, D**n. I am less nurturing than a desert. ~Demetri Martin

As with all cactus, admire the flowers, but don’t forget the spines!

for One Word Sunday: three