Small Flowers

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richj20 Veteran Member • Posts: 7,581
Small Flowers
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I've always been interested in smaller flowers. I find them more attractive in some ways than the usual larger, showy flowers. A few from my garden:

1. "Crown of Thorns." One of the darkest, richest red colors I've seen. The thorns are quite strong for a small plant. The flowers are a bit larger than a $.10 piece (dime).

2. "Purple Sage." A misleading common name, since it is not in the sage family. Notice the hairs. I've often wondered about the function of hairs on flowers. Botanists don't always agree on the reason. Here, perhaps to ward off nectar robbers from entering the chamber?

3. "Scarlet Sage," a real sage. Another interesting display of hairs. Sages are in the Mint family, Lamiaceae, whose plants are distinguished by their square stems - note the stem at the left. Hummingbirds love this and other tubular flowers.

4. A species of Sorrel, genus Oxalis. Petals yellow with a greenish tint.

5. Another Sorrel, twice as small as above. I've found 5 species in my area. This one identified by the red markings at the base of the petals.

6. A species of succulent. By some accounts, there are 2000+ species of succulents. This is the first blossom to open on this cluster of buds.

7. "Arroyo Lupine." A side view of this tiny flower: the 2 petals at the top are "Banners;" the 2 below are "Wings" which fold over the "Keel" protruding below.

7a. A view of the flower stalk.

8. "California Lilac," a white cultivar. Most of the native Lilacs are purple. This cluster is completely filled. The plant started blooming about a month ago, and is frequented every day by honey bees.

9. "California Brickell Bush." This flower is a member of the Sunflower family, but has no outer petals (ray flowers), rather, only inner, disc flowers.

10. "Bladderpod," so named because the seed pod is shaped somewhat like a bladder. One of my favorite flowers because it blooms almost all year. It has six stamens of equal length.

Much to see, enjoy, and photograph these days in the world of flowers!

- Richard

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