Conjoined rain-lilies beginning to shrivel
Among our most ephemeral wildflowers, rain-lilies last only a couple of days. As the tepals wither, they become more and more tinged with a color that ranges from pink to magenta, as shown here. Photographed in mid-May by the side of the Mopac expressway, these are the only conjoined rain-lilies I recall ever seeing. The swelling at the base of the twins’ shared stalk is the plant’s ripening ovary.
© 2011 Steven Schwartzman (who sometimes likes pictures that are unusually elongated, whether horizontally or, like this one, vertically; and whose mind, tuned as it is to word associations, woke up at 5:30 in the morning a few days after this post with the thought running through his head that this photograph could be titled Withering Heights).
(For more information about this species, including a clickable map showing where it grows, you can visit the USDA website.)