Sunday, March 29, 2009
Mystery Plant Blooms
If you recall, I've been following an unknown plant in my creek for a couple of years. Lo and behold, there was an actual bloom atop one yesterday! What I'd mistaken for petals was actually the capsule opening and closing in the torrential rains.
The long floral tube and the four petals tells me the likely family: Oenothera, or Evening Primrose. They are often woody near the base, 4-merous (having four petals), capsules are dehiscent (split open to disperse their seeds).
The long floral tube is also a giveaway. (This photo is turned on its side). I know which O. species it isn't, but I'm still narrowing it down. My best guess presently is Oenothera tretraptera or Oenothera kunthiana, which are very similar. They are rare and scattered in my part of the state.