Ratany has nothing to do with rats
That’s right: ratany has nothing to do with rats, because the word comes (via Spanish) from Quechua, an indigenous language family of South America. Whatever else you call Krameria lanceolata, its small and intricate and richly colored flowers are distinctive among the flora of central Texas. The upper three petals of each flower are united into a sort of tiny fan, while the lower two petals are separate and stand opposite each other. The five larger structures surrounding each flower are sepals (and therefore not petals, as many people who come across these inconspicuous flowers might falsely assume).
I took this picture at Tejas Camp in Williamson County on May 9th.
© 2014 Steven Schwartzman