Starflower

Because I am a trained biologist I hesitate to admit that I don’t enjoy being wet. I don’t enjoy being dirty. I am not enamored of things that bite, and I blister if the word Urushoil is even mentioned. When I was a kid, I fancied myself an underwater photographer and remember that I always remained clean, cool, and bug free when in the field with the camera. Years later I find myself engaged, photographically, in an alternate ecosystem. One which is, more often than not, warm, humid, buggy, and scattered with debris. In an effort to make me more comfortable while scrabbling around so many messy venues she presented me with drop cloth. I believe I put it to good use the other day when contemplating Starflower. Click here for a view of the same specimen from a slightly different vantage.

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15 thoughts on “Starflower

  1. The blossom and bud appear as if they are suspended in space. Your trademark crisp and clarity in full view. Glad Joanna came to the rescue and kept you clean during your effort! šŸ™‚

  2. I smiled at Steve’s comment about the seven petals, stamens, and so on. This one clearly has eight. It made me curious, so I went looking, and found that Trientalis borealis (which I believe this to be) has from five to nine petals. What I don’t know is whether the number of stamens always matches the number of petals, which it does here.

    We have lovely “starflowers” here in Texas here, too. One, which I’ve heard called the meadow star flower, actually is the rose gentian, and another, the Texas yellow star, is named for Lindheimer (Lindheimera texana). I used to think scientific names were only for the specialists, but they certainly can help to avoid confusion.

    • I had noted eight parts as well and must have then consulted the same source which pointed to the possibility for variation. I appreciated your appreciation for Latin names, Linnaeus would be pleased. And, finally, I did not know who Lindheimer was … but, now I do. He must have been quite-the-botanist for having an entire genus named after him … usually folks are most typically honored by having a single species named for them. Oh … almost forgot … you mentioned the song Wagon Wheel (Darius Rucker) the other day. I didn’t recognize the title and clicked the link you provided. As soon as the tune started I realized that it was one I really liked … but didn’t recognize it by its title!

      • I’ll be writing about Lindheimer on my blog one of these days. I’ve been to his home, and to the great exhibit they had at a New Braunfels museum. The “botany boys,” as I like to think of them — Roemer, Lindheimer, Asa Gray, Drummond — were quite the crew. Some of the letters between Lindheimer and Gray about Drummond are hilarious.

  3. While I don’t enjoy getting down ‘n dirty ‘n wet, I do it for our craft. But, a drop cloth sounds like a fine idea. Plus it keeps you a little more separated from the ticks in the leaf litter. Are you aware of the starflower’s uniqueness? It is, I believe, the only flower based on sevens … 7 sepals, 7 petals, 7 stamens and often 7 leaves.

    • Perhaps I should say, before Steve S. does, that this must be a prime specimen! I’m wondering when the beautiful spring parade of species will begin to slow down? Much of what we had blooming several weeks ago has gone by … but others have quickly taken their place. Will the bounty ever cease? I’m working on some text to accompany an image of Ghost Pipe (also known as cancer root and broomrape). Beautiful weather today, crisp and clear. Temps predicted in the mid 40s, however, overnight.

      • There will be a parade of flowers from now until late September. I photographed some cancer root a few weeks ago. I like Ghost Pipe the better of the three names. Yep. 40’s here tonight also. Good sleeping weather. Been up since 1:30 this morning so a good night of sleep is needed. All of a sudden, for the last several months so not so sudden I guess, sleeping until 4 is a great surprise.

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