Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Keeping a close watch

Red-Flowering Currant
Ribes sanguineum
I keep practicing photographs of this flower because, although small, it is very open.  Clearly seen here is the pistol in the center with three stigmas and five stamen, one in front of each petal.  I got a pretty picture of this plant's leaf below.
Most plants in the Current family (Grossulariaceae) have lobed leaves like this and are palmately veined (this species has three main veins coming from the same point). I think these are lovely leaves!

Large-flowered Bittercress
(Cardamine pulcherrima)
I thought this was a nice portrayal of this Bittercress. Looking at it's parts, I am surprised that there are five stamen even though there are only four petals. I also find it interesting how far the pistol protrudes from the rest of the flower.  It is sure to pick up lots of pollen!

Scouler's Corydalis
(Corydalis scouleri)
I don't normally take pictures of plants like this without zooming in on specifics but I wanted to illustrate the size of the plant. It is in the Bleeding Heart family (Fumariaceae) and that is obvious when comparing the general leaf structure with that of a Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa). However, this plant grows to a surprising 60-120 cm tall!! It has very different flowers from the Bleeding Heart, as well.
I found only one plant that had flowers just thinking about blooming. The corydalis is only just sprouting up everywhere and is still very young. These flowers do show similarities (in this stage) to the Bleeding Heart because of the way the petals are pinched and flattened. But when it blooms, it will be very different.  Of course, how they cluster together is very different, too. Bleeding hearts droop from the stem while the Corydalis form a raceme like the ever popular Foxglove.

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