Scarlet leatherflower opening—in its way
In a comment on yesterday’s Clematis texensis post, Sally Donatello asked what the scarlet clematis flower was concealing. Not much that’s picturesque, I’m afraid. The flower doesn’t readily open wide, although the distal ends of the thick sepals flare out to varying degrees and offer a glimpse of some fibers inside. This photograph tells that story.
A fertilized scarlet leatherflower does go on to produce feathery strands in the style of its genus-mate Clematis drummondii, but there aren’t as many strands, nor are they as fancy as in even a routine showing of old man’s beard, so the overall effect is less impressive. On the other hand, as intricate and swirly as a display of Clematis drummondii can be, it pales, literally, in comparison to the rich color of the scarlet leatherflower. Each species has its appeal.
© 2012 Steven Schwartzman