Portraits of Wildflowers

Perspectives on Nature Photography

When is a rain-lily black? — Take 2

with 8 comments

Click for greater clarity.

Another way a rain-lily can be black—and you might say a more legitimate one than as a shadow—is through its seeds. Here you see a couple of rain-lily seeds that hadn’t yet fallen out of their little compartment, even though the two adjacent compartments in the capsule had already shed their cargo. What the tiny white flecks on the dark seeds were, I don’t know, maybe just dust. Also notice the faint spider silk in several places.

The location is once again the triangle of land where Perry Lane runs into Mopac, but this picture dates from November 14th of 2011. (I had a version of this post ready to appear shortly afterwards, but somehow I kept bumping it. Now seemed like the right time to let it go out into the world.)

With this photograph you’ve seen the last stage in the life of a rain-lily. Other views in these pages have included:

A rain-lily bud;

A rain-lily flower beginning to open;

A rain-lily stalk;

A rain-lily turning pink;

A pink tip of a rain-lily tepal;

A rain-lily turned red by the setting sun;

A dense colony of rain-lilies;

The outside of a rain-lily seed capsule.

If you were to say that I like rain-lilies, you wouldn’t be wrong.

© 2013 Steven Schwartzman

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Written by Steve Schwartzman

October 25, 2013 at 1:33 PM

8 Responses

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  1. this is amazing.

    sedge808

    October 25, 2013 at 9:18 PM

  2. I finally got around to viewing your post. Interesting picture. I like the 3 way compartment.

    I did a quick click to view the past posts on the lilies. That was a nice set. I admit to not reading each. Did you say anywhere why they turn from white to pink? A quick google search turned up nothing. Deeper digging would be needed.

    Jim in IA

    October 26, 2013 at 7:45 AM

    • These tripartite capsules form in the upper part of the rain-lily stalk, just below where the flower used to be.

      As for why rain-lilies turn pink/purplish/reddish when they age, no source I’ve come across has explained that change, and I don’t know if anyone has ever studied the question. If not, it seems like a ready-made project for a budding botany student.

      In any case, I’m glad you liked the look-see at the various stages of the rain-lily, which is a wildflower I’ve often enough enjoyed photographing.

      Steve Schwartzman

      October 26, 2013 at 8:09 AM

  3. As usual, I’m attracted to seedy images!

    kathryningrid

    October 31, 2013 at 5:49 PM

  4. Wonderful, and I went back, with pleasure, to every link. I can see why you like rain-lilies.

    Susan Scheid

    November 9, 2013 at 6:02 PM


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