Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

Rain-lily detail

with 8 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Yesterday’s post showed a rain-lily, Cooperia pedunculata, that recent rains had caused to flower on July 13th. Rain-lilies last only a few days, and no sooner is one of these flowers fully open than its pristine white begins to take on a pink tinge, as you see in this close view; from here the coloration will quickly darken and signal the flower’s demise. Tinge aside, I’ll add that the tepal looks to me as if it were made of snow or ice.

© 2012 Steven Schwartzman

Written by Steve Schwartzman

July 25, 2012 at 6:05 AM

8 Responses

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  1. I’m always amazed when you show us one of these color-changers. I’ve always assumed the natural progression is straight from white (or whatever color) to brown. Not so.

    Personally, the tepal looks to me like that very thin foam sheeting that’s used to pack electronics or glassware. Of course, I’ve seen much more foam than snow in recent years!


    July 25, 2012 at 7:48 AM

    • There seems to be a vogue for shape-shifters, so maybe we can start one for color-changers. Another example from Texas is the bluebonnet. Each flower’s upper petal initially has a white spot on it that after six days turns red to let pollinators know that the flower’s pollen isn’t fertile anymore.

      I usually see much more foam than snow, too, but the winters of 2010 and 2011 both brought some snow to Austin, which I took advantage of for pictures.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 25, 2012 at 10:32 AM

  2. Yes, looks like snow or sugar crystals.


    July 25, 2012 at 7:52 AM

    • No surprise that the confectioner thinks of sugar crystals. Maybe you can create a sweet treat that resembles a rain-lily.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 25, 2012 at 10:35 AM

  3. The tepal does look like snow or even ice. Nature’s wonders!


    July 25, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    • I’m happy to see something that looks like snow and ice but that doesn’t make me freeze my limbs off while photographing it.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 25, 2012 at 1:00 PM

  4. It looks temptingly edible and the detail in the texture is great.

    Nature on the Edge

    July 28, 2012 at 1:34 PM

    • Yes, the texture is tempting. There are insects that eat these flowers, but I don’t know that people can.

      Steve Schwartzman

      July 28, 2012 at 4:47 PM

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