Tuesday, July 26, 2011

jewel weed from bud to flower, action movie hero bug, etc.

I was out at my dad’s house today, and checked in on those crazy tubular-leaved black-eyed susans. They’re still going strong!
I can’t get enough of these.
Check out this crazy one – it was just opening when I was last here a week ago. Slow motion dancing.

Just can’t get enough of them.
Nearby, a Japanese beetle was checking out some sunflowers that have yet to open. I love the trident antennae, not to mention the overall action-movie poster pose.
I finally correctly identified this tiny beauty : it’s lesser stitchwort (Stellaria graminea). This is a wee little flower that likes grassy places (hence its name – graminea = grass).
I’m lucky I got to this in time, as you can see that it’s already fertilized; look at the bulginess at the center.
I have a lot to report on the development of jewel-weed flowers. Some of these are from dad’s house, and some from our own yard.
We begin with your basic bud. Note the tiny protrusion from the base of the one on the left. I think that might be the spur.
This one is just starting to peel open. You can see orange veins against a yellow background.
This one is a little farther along. The front is still encased in…um…not a sepal, exactly, but definitely a protective sheath of some kind. You can see the spur at the back, curled under the body of the flower. The whole thing looks like it’s covered in placental goo, doesn’t it?
And look! The spur is totally out and doing its happy dance! The front of the flower is still enclosed by the whatever-you-call-a-non-sepal-looking thing.
Here we have a partly emerged one right next to one that is fully open. And you can see a remnant of the protective bud sheath on the fully-opened flower – over the flower’s right shoulder, if you will.
I still don’t have a sense of what the difference is between this one specimen, and this other specimen (why do the innards look different, and what the time-lapse story of those innards’ development is. That’ll be my next jewel weed project.)
THAT was fun!
Back on the home front, the fringed loosestrife has started go to seed. To remind you, here’s what that flower look like:
And here’s the…berry? I love how you can just make out almost like cell walls or something – different sections – of the emerging fruit. (Is it a fruit? Doesn’t that look like a berry that presumably has seeds in it? Hm!)
That protruding stigma reminds me of something going on in our garden: the bell peppers are forming!
Here’s the tiniest one.


  1. What's with the tubular black-eyed susans? Are they some sort of cultivar, or a different species altogether from Rudbeckia hirta?

  2. I love these photos it refreshes my mind. There is no replacement of natural beauty.
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  3. Flowers are really lovely. I’ve always wanted to see how the flowers bloom. But, in these photos I can now picture out, how amazing they are.