Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Metamorphosis

One of the most beautiful flowers of the desert is dune evening primrose (Oenothera deltoides).  It's also called birdcage evening primrose or devil's lantern.  When I saw the flowers for the first time, those other names didn't make sense to me.  I read that when the plant dies, the stems curl upwards into what looks like a birdcage.  Even though I found a few photos online, I still couldn't believe this beautiful, delicate flower could end up looking like that.  Well, this year I found irrefutable proof, up close and personal.  Amazing!  Mother Nature sure has a sense of humor...


If nothing ever changed, there'd be no butterflies.
~ Unknown

7 comments:

  1. I have a variety of oenothera that is upright with a yellow flower, a peppery fragrance and blooms at night. Years ago when I worked in a nursery a lady from Germany said, "I can't believe you have those. It's a weed where I come from!"

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  2. It's always interesting how different people view different plants and flowers. I think sometimes we overlook real beauties!

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  3. Fascinating! I think I've seen that kind of flower before but never noticed the plant in the birdcage stage.

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  4. How does it disperse its seeds though? Do they just fall out when it rolls?

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  5. Hi, Anonymous. Good question. I did a quick search and didn't find much but this: "Oenothera deltoides possesses no known specialized dispersal mechanisms, and the majority of seedlings are found nearby adult plants." So apparently the seeds simply fall where the plant sits.

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