Informational Site NetworkInformational Site Network
Privacy
 
Home Gardening in General Fruits & Vegetables Plants & Flowers
Articles - Directory - Indoor Gardening - Small Gardens Cucumbers - Apple Growing - Asparagus - Walnut Growing - Vegetables Flowers - Clovers

Most Viewed

Wild Lupine Old Maid's Bonnets Wild Pea Sun Dial
Yellow And Orange Flowers
Dutchman's Pipe Pipevine
Pointed Blueeyed Grass Eyebright Blue Star
Magenta To Pink Flowers
Pitcherplant Sidesaddle Flower Huntsman's Cup Indian Dipper
Moonshine Cottonweed Nonesopretty
Plant Garden Stonecrop Witches' Money
Struthiola Erecta Smooth Struthiola
Michauxia Campanuloides Rough-leav'd Michauxia


Least Viewed

Erica Cerinthoides Honeywort-flower'd Heath
Struthiola Erecta Smooth Struthiola
Michauxia Campanuloides Rough-leav'd Michauxia
Ipom&oeliga Coccinea Scarlet Ipom&oeliga
Disandra Prostrata Trailing Disandra
Buchnera Viscosa Clammy Buchnera
Lychnis Coronata Chinese Lychnis
Magenta To Pink Flowers
Yellow And Orange Flowers
Buttonbush Honeyballs Globeflower Buttonball Shrub








CALOPOGON GRASS PINK







(Limodorum tuberosum; Calopogon pulchellus of Gray) Orchid family Flowers - Purplish pink, 1 in. long, 3 to 15 around a long, loose spike. Sepals and petals similar, oval, acute; the lip on upper side of flower is broad at the summit, tapering into a claw, flexible as if hinged, densely bearded on its face with white, yellow, and magenta hairs (Calopogon = beautiful beard). Column below lip (ovary not twisted in this exceptional case); sticky stigma at summit of column, and just below it a 2-celled anther, each cell containing 2 pollen masses, the grain lightly connected by threads. Scape: 1 to 1 1/2 ft. high, slender, naked. Leaf: Solitary, long, grass-like, from a round bulb arising from bulb of previous year. Preferred Habitat - Swamps, cranberry bogs, and low meadows. Flowering Season - June-July. Distribution - Newfoundland to Florida, and westward to the Mississippi. Fortunately this lovely orchid, one of the most interesting of its highly organized family, is far from rare, and where we find the rose pogonia and other bog-loving relatives growing, the calopogon usually outnumbers them all. Limodorum translated reads meadow-gift; but we find the flower less frequently in grassy places than those who have waded into its favorite haunts could wish. Owing to the crested lip being oddly situated on the upper part of the flower, which appears to be growing upside down in consequence, one might suppose a visiting insect would not choose to alight on it. The pretty club-shaped, vari-colored hairs, which he may mistake for stamens, and which keep his feet from slipping, irresistibly invite him there, however, when, presto! down drops the fringed lip with startling suddenness. Of course, the bee strikes his back against the column when he falls. Now, there are two slightly upturned little wings on either side of the column, which keep his body from slipping off at either side and necessitate its exit from the end where the stigma smears it with viscid matter. The pressure of the insect on this part starts the pollen masses from their pocket just below; and as the bee slides off the end of the column, the exposed, cobwebby threads to which the pollen grains are attached cling to his sticky body. The sticky substance instantly hardening, the pollen masses, which are drawn out from their pocket as he escapes, are cemented to his abdomen in the precise spot where they must strike against the stigma of the next calopogon he tumbles in; hence cross-fertilization results. What recompense does the bee get for such rough handling? None at all, so far as is known. The flower, which secretes no nectar, is doubtless one of those gay deceivers that Sprengel named "Scheinsaftblumen," only it leads its visitors to look for pollen instead of nectar, on the supposition that the club-shaped hairs on the crests are stamens. The wonder is that the intelligent little bees (a species of Andrenidae), which chiefly are its Victims, have not yet learned to boycott it. "Calopogon," says Professor Robertson, who knows more about the fertilization of American wild flowers by insects than most writers, "is one of a few flowers which move the insect toward the stigma.... There is no expenditure in keeping up a supply of nectar, and the flower, although requiring a smooth insect of a certain size and weight, suffers nothing from the visits of those it cannot utilize. Then, there is no delay caused by the insect waiting to suck; but as soon as it alights it is thrown down against the stigma. This occurs so quickly that, while standing net in hand, I have seen insects effect pollination and escape before I could catch them. So many orchids fasten their pollinia upon the faces and tongues of insects that it is interesting to find one which applies them regularly to the first abdominal segment. Mr. Darwin has observed that absence of hair on the tongues of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) and on the faces of Hymenoptera (bees; wasps, etc.) has led to the more usual adaptations, and sparseness of hair has its influence in this case. Species of Augochlora are the only insects on which I found pollinia. These bees are very smooth, depending for ornament on the metallic sheen of their bodies. An Halictus repeatedly pulled down the labella (lips) of flowers from which pollinia had not been removed; and the only reason I can assign for its failure to extract pollinia is that it is more hairy than the Augochlora. COMMON PERSICARIA, PINK KNOTWEED, or JOINT-WEED; SMARTWEED (Polygonum Pennsylvanicum) Buckwheat family Flowers - Very small, pink, collected in terminal, dense, narrow, obtuse spikes, 1 to 2 in. long. Calyx pink or greenish, 5-parted, like petals; no corolla; stamens 8 or less; style 2-parted. Stem: 1 to 3 ft. high, simple or branched, often partly red, the joints swollen and sheathed; the branches above, and peduncles glandular. Leaves: Oblong, lance-shaped, entire edged, 2 to 11 in. long, with stout midrib, sharply tapering at tip, rounded into short petioles below. Preferred Habitat - Waste places, roadsides, moist soil. Flowering Season - July-October. Distribution - Nova Scotia to the Gulf of Mexico; westward to Texas and Minnesota. Everywhere we meet this commonest of plants or some of its similar kin, the erect pink spikes brightening roadsides, rubbish heaps, fields, and waste places, from midsummer to frost. The little flowers, which open without method anywhere on the spike they choose, attract many insects, the smaller bees (Andrena) conspicuous among the host. As the spreading divisions of the perianth make nectar-stealing all too easy for ants and other crawlers that would not come in contact with anthers and stigma where they enter a flower near its base, most buckwheat plants whose blossoms secrete sweets protect themselves from theft by coating the upper stems with glandular hairs that effectually discourage the pilferers. Shortly after fertilization, the little rounded, flat-sided fruit begins to form inside the persistent pink calyx. At any time the spike-like racemes contain more bright pink buds and shining seeds than flowers. Familiarity alone breeds contempt for this plant, that certainly possesses much beauty. The LADY'S THUMB (P. Persicaria), often a troublesome weed, roams over the whole of North America, except at the extreme north - another illustration of the riotous profusion of European floral immigrants rejoicing in the easier struggle for existence here. Its pink spikes are shorter and less slender than those of the preceding taller, but similar species, and its leaves, which are nearly seated on the stem, have dark triangular or lunar marks near the center in the majority of cases. An insignificant little plant, found all over our continent, Europe, and Asia, is the familiar KNOT-GRASS or DOORWEED (P. aviculare), often trailing its leafy, jointed stems over the ground, but at times weakly erect, to display its tiny greenish or white pink-edged flowers, clustered in the axils of oblong, bluish-green leaves that are considerably less than an inch long. Although in bloom from June to October, insects seldom visit it, for it secretes very little, if any, nectar. As might be expected in such a case, its stem is smooth. When the amphibious WATER PERSICARIA (P. amphibium) lifts its short, dense, rose-colored ovoid or oblong club of bloom above ponds and lakes, it is sufficiently protected from crawling pilferers, of course, by the water in which it grows. But suppose the pond dries up and the plant is left on dry ground, what then? Now, a remarkable thing happens: protective glandular, sticky hairs appear on the epidermis of the leaves and stems, which were perfectly smooth when the flowers grew in water. Such small wingless insects as might pilfer nectar without bringing to their hostess any pollen from other blossoms are held as fast as on bird-lime. The stem, which sometimes floats, sometimes is immersed, may attain a length of twenty feet; the rounded, elliptic, petioled leaves may be four inches long or only half that size. From Quebec to New Jersey, and westward to the Pacific, the solitary, showy inflorescence, which does well to attain a height of an inch, may be found during July and August. Throughout the summer, narrow, terminal, erect, spike-like racemes of small, pale pink, flesh-colored, or greenish flowers are sent upward by the MILD WATER PEPPER (P. hydropiperoides). It is like a slender, pale variety of the common pink persicaria. One finds its inconspicuous, but very common, flowers from June to September. The plant, which grows in shallow water, swamps, and moist places throughout the Union and considerably north and south of it, rises three feet or less. The cylindric sheaths around the swollen joints of the stem are fringed with long bristles - a clue to identification. Another similar WATER PEPPER or SMARTWEED (P. hydropiper) is so called because of its acrid, biting juice. The CLIMBING FALSE BUCKWHEAT (P. scandens) straggles over bushes in woods, thickets, and by the waysides throughout a very wide range; yet its small, dull, greenish-yellow and pinkish flowers, loosely clustered in long pedicelled racemes, are so inconspicuous during August and September, when the showy composites are in their glory, that we give them scarcely a glance. The alternate leaves, which are heart-shaped at the base and pointed at the lip, suggesting those of the morning glory, are on petioles arising from sheaths over the enlarged joints which, in this family, are always a most prominent characteristic - (Poly = many, gonum = a knee). The three outer sepals, keeled when in flower, are irregularly winged when the three-angled, smooth achene hangs from the matured blossom in autumn, the season at which the vine assumes its greatest attractiveness. The ARROW-LEAVED TEAR THUMB (P. sagittatum), found in ditches and swampy wet soil, weakly leans on other plants, or climbs over them with the help of the many sharp, recurved prickles which arm its four-angled stem. Even the petioles and underside of the leaf's midrib are set with prickles. The light green leaves, that combine the lance and the arrow shapes, take on a beautiful russet-red tint in autumn. The little, five-parted rose-colored or greenish-white flowers grow in small, close terminal heads from July to September from Nova Scotia to the Gulf and far westward. SEASIDE or COAST JOINTWEED or KNOT-GRASS (Polygonella articulata; Polygonum articulatum of Gray) a low, slender, wiry, diffusely spreading little plant, with thread-like leaves seated on its much-jointed stem, rises cleanly from out the sand of the coast from Maine to Florida, and the shores of the Great Lakes. Very slender racemes of tiny, nodding, rose-tinted white flowers, with a dark midrib to each of the five calyx segments, are insignificant of themselves; but when seen in masses, from July to October, they tinge the upper beaches and sandy meadows with a pink blush that not a few artists have transferred to the foreground of their marine pictures. CORN COCKLE; CORN ROSE; CORN or RED CAMPION; CROWN-OF-THE-FIELD (Agrostemma Githago; Lychnis Githago of Gray) Pink family Flowers - Magenta or bright purplish crimson, to 3 in. broad, solitary at end of long, stout footstem; 5 lobes of calyx leaf-like, very long and narrow, exceeding petals. Corolla of 5 broad, rounded petals; 10 stamens; 5 styles alternating with calyx lobes, opposite petals. Stem: 1 to 3 ft. high, erect, with few or no branches, leafy, the plant covered with fine white hairs. Leaves: Opposite, seated on stem, long, narrow, pointed, erect. Fruit: a 1-celled, many-seeded capsule. Preferred Habitat - Wheat and other grain fields; dry, waste places. Flowering Season - July-September. Distribution - United States at large; most common in Central and Western States. Also in Europe and Asia. "Allons! allons! sow'd cockle, reap'd no corn," exclaims Biron in "Love's Labor Lost." Evidently the farmers even in Shakespeare's day counted this brilliant blossom the pest it has become in many of our own grain fields just as it was in ancient times, when Job, after solemnly protesting his righteousness, called on his own land to bear record against him if his words were false. "Let thistles grow instead of wheat, and cockle instead of barley," he cried, according to James the First's translators; but the "noisome weeds" of the original text seem to indicate that these good men were more anxious to give the English people an adequate conception of Job's willingness to suffer for his honor's sake than to translate literally. Possibly the cockle grew in Southern Asia in Job's time : today its range is north. Like many another immigrant to our hospitable shores, this vigorous invader shows a tendency to outstrip native blossoms in life's race. Having won in the struggle for survival in the old country, where the contest has been most fiercely waged for centuries, it finds life here easy, enjoyable. What are its methods for insuring an abundance of fertile seed? We see that the tube of the flower is so nearly closed by the stamens and five-styled pistil as to be adapted only to the long, slender tongues of moths and butterflies, for which benefactors it became narrow and deep to reserve the nectar. "A certain night-flying moth (one of the Dianthaecia) fertilizes flowers of this genus exclusively, and its larvae feed on their unripe seeds as a staple. Bees and some long-tongued flies seen about the corn cockle doubtless get pollen only; but there are few flowers so deep that the longest-tongued bees cannot sip them. Butterflies, attracted by the bright color of the flower - and to them color is the most catchy of advertisements - are guided by a few dark lines on the petals to the nectary. Soon after the blossom opens, five of the stamens emerge from the tube and shed their pollen on the early visitor. Later, the five other stamens empty the contents of their anthers on more tardy comers. Finally, when all danger of self-fertilization is past, the styles stretch upward, and the butterfly, whose head is dusted with pollen brought from earlier flowers, necessarily leaves some on their sticky surfaces as he takes the leavings in the nectary. So much cross-fertilized seed as the plant now produces and scatters through the grain fields may well fill the farmer's prosaic mind with despair. To him there is no glory in the scarlet of the poppy comparable with the glitter of a silver dollar; no charm in the heavenly blue of the corn-flower, that likewise preys upon the fertility of his soil; the vivid flecks of color with which the cockle lights up his fields mean only loss of productiveness in the earth that would yield him greater profit without them. Moreover, seeds of this so-called weed not only darken his wheat when they are threshed out together, but are positively injurious if swallowed in any quantity. Emerson said every plant is called a weed until its usefulness is discovered. Linnaeus called this flower Agrostemma = the crown-of-the-field. Agriculturalists never realize that beauty is in itself a sufficient plea for respected existence. Not a few of the cockle's relatives adorn men's gardens. WILD PINK or CATCHFLY (Silene Caroliniana; S. Pennsylvanica of Gray) Pink family Flowers - Rose pink, deep or very pale; about inch broad, on slender footstalks, in terminal clusters. Calyx tubular, 5-toothed, much enlarged in fruit, sticky; 5 petals with claws enclosed in calyx, wedged-shaped above, slightly notched. Stamens 10; pistil with 3 styles. Stem: 4 to 10 in. high, hairy, sticky above, growing in tufts. Leaves: Basal ones spatulate; 2 or 3 pairs of lance-shaped, smaller leaves seated on stem. Preferred Habitat - Dry, gravelly, sandy, or rocky soil. Flowering Season - April-June. Distribution - New England, south to Georgia, westward to Kentucky. Fresh, dainty, and innocent-looking as Spring herself are these bright flowers. Alas, for the tiny creatures that try to climb up the rosy tufts to pilfer nectar, they and their relatives are not so innocent as they appear! While the little crawlers are almost within reach of the cup of sweets, their feet are gummed to the viscid matter that coats it, and here their struggles end as flies' do on sticky fly-paper, or birds' on limed twigs. A naturalist counted sixty-two little corpses on the sticky stem of a single pink. All this tragedy to protect a little nectar for the butterflies which, in sipping it, transfer the pollen from one flower to another, and so help them to produce the most beautiful and robust offspring. The pink, which has two sets of stamens of five each, elevates first one set, then the other, for economy's sake and to run less risk of failure to get its pollen transferred in case of rain when its friends are not flying. After all the golden dust has been shed, however, up come the three recurved styles from the depth of the tube to receive pollen brought by butterflies from younger flowers. There are few cups so deep that the largest bumblebees cannot suck them. Flies which feed on the pink's pollen only, sometimes come by mistake to older blossoms in the stigmatic stage, and doubtless cross-fertilize them once in a while. In waste places and woods farther southward and westward, and throughout the range of the Wild Pink as well, clusters of the SLEEPY CATCHFLY (S. antirrhina) open their tiny pink flowers for a short time only in the sunshine. At any stage they are mostly calyx, but in fruit this part is much expanded. Swollen, sticky joints are the plant's means of defense from crawlers. Season: Summer. When moths begin their rounds at dusk, the NIGHT-FLOWERING CATCHFLY (S. noctiflora) opens its pinkish or white flowers to emit a fragrance that guides them to a feast prepared for them alone. Day-blooming catchflies have no perfume, nor do they need it; their color and markings are a sufficient guide to the butterflies. Sticky hairs along the stems of this plant ruthlessly destroy, not flies, but ants chiefly, that would pilfer nectar without being able to render the flower any service. Yet the calyx is beautifully veined, as if to tantalize the crawlers by indicating the path to a banquet hail they may never reach. Only a very few flowers, an inch across or less, are clustered at the top of the plant, which blooms from July to September in waste places east of the Mississippi and in Canada.





Next: SOAPWORT BOUNCING BET HEDGE PINK BRUISEWORT OLD MAID'S PINK

Previous: ARETHUSA INDIAN PINK



Add to del.icio.us Add to Reddit Add to Digg Add to Del.icio.us Add to Google Add to Twitter Add to Stumble Upon
Add to Informational Site Network
Report
Privacy
SHAREADD TO EBOOK


Viewed 874