This post marks the debut of a native wildflower that’s not uncommon in central Texas but, probably because of its diminutive size and stay-close-to-the-ground growth, is little known. The scientific name is Krameria lanceolata; members of the general public who are aware of it call it ratany (also spelled rhatany), from Spanish ratania, apparently taken from a Quechua word.
The five large structures that look like petals are actually sepals. Markedly smaller than those are the five true petals, two opposite each other at the flower’s center, and three others united at their bases into a sort of tiara. The entire inflorescence, including the sepals, has a diameter of no more than 3/4 of an inch (19mm).
As was true for the last photograph, the date was May 17, and I found myself photographing along the entrance road to the Mahomet Cemetery in eastern Burnet County.
© 2013 Steven Schwartzman