Saturday, April 5, 2008

Celestial

Martha and I went out to the Ft. Worth Nature Center today and met an old wildflower friend. It is known by the common name “Celestial”. We knew that we had seen it a long time ago but not recently and could not remember the name. We found it in the oldest wildflower book that we bought when we first started getting seriously interested in wildflowers.

We had identified it in 1971 and have not seen it since. The reason is easily explained. To quote from “Roadside Wildflowers of Texas” by Irwin:

“But for the fact that the flowers are open only a few hours, Celestial might be better known. The wildflowers open out cup-shaped in the late morning. At first the orange anthers stand erect, but in an hour or two they turn downward. And then, usually before 3:00 PM, the perianth parts curl up. Because of their grass-like foliage, the plants are hard to find when they are out of flower.”

Celestials are found blooming in April in sandy fields, open woods, and on the Blackland Prairie in East Texas. Their distribution also includes Tennessee to Kansas and Louisiana.

Note that sepals and petals are three each nearly alike, light blue-violet, and whitened at the base.

Flowers are borne in pairs, hence the name gemini (twins). The style of the pistil is divided into 6 thread-like branches which project sideways in pairs around the 3 stamens. Nema signifies thread.

Nemastylis geminiflora


It was really nice to become acquainted again.
I photographed the Celestial with Martha’s new S51 Nikon.


Troy and Martha

14 comments:

Julie at Virtual Nexus said...

Just called in from seeing your comment on Scotty's.

Beautiful photographs - love the sea and ice shots especially - so atmospheric, and like the way you are using contrast to make the subjects stand out. Enjoyed seeing these.

The Texican said...

Beautiful little blossoms. I had to draw on a plant taxonomy course from college days to properly identify all the parts mentioned.

Texas Travelers said...

Julie and Texican:
Thanks for the comments. We were really excited when we discovered (again) what we had found.

Old Wom Tigley said...

Hi there Troy..What a stunner that flower is... no wonder you were pleased at your find.

I called to thank you for the bee/fly lesson.. I can see a trip to google is called for.. thank you.
Tom

Sandpiper said...

What a beautiful flower! This is an interesting post. I enjoyed reading about it.

Stacey Huston said...

Beautiful flower. I can see where it got its name.. Thanks for sharing

dot said...

Thank you for visiting my Georgia blog.
I love your flower pictures!

Marie said...

Beautiful flower!

Travis said...

I liked reading your post. That is a wonderful flower. I love the color. Great work. Very nice photo.

gmj said...

Hello, thanks for stopping by my blog. Wonderful photos on your blog. I am using my daughter's FinePix s6000 fd. I usually use a little 3x optical with 2 megapix. I'll be back often to see your beautiful wildflowers.

David said...

Nice description, I don't know of any other flowers that are open for that short amount of time.

Cheers,

David Webb: Pictures of Nature

AphotoAday said...

How interesting -- and a rare catch, to boot. Very pretty... And I try to learn something every day -- so that's probably going to be it for today -- "gemini" means twins. Hmmm...

quintarantino said...

A most amazing photo of a very delicate flower.

Scotty Graham said...

Hi Troy and Martha....

wow, so glad you stopped by my blog cause I love yours as well!! Great photos...I will also add your link to my blog if you don't mind...and thanks for adding mine.

Cheers,

Scotty