(Hypoxis hirsuta; H. erecta of Gray) Amaryllis family
Flowers - Bright yellow within, greenish and hairy outside, about
1/2 in. across, 6-parted; the perianth divisions spreading,
narrowly oblong; a few flowers at the summit of a rough, hairy
scape 2 to 6 in.
high. Leaves: All from an egg-shaped corm; mostly longer than scapes, slender, grass-like, more or less hairy. Preferred Habitat - Dry, open woods, prairies, grassy waste places, fields. Flowering Season - May-October. Distribution - From Maine far westward, and south to the Gulf of Mexico. Usually only one of these little blossoms in a cluster on each plant opens at a time; but that one peers upward so brightly from among the grass it cannot well be overlooked. Sitting in a meadow sprinkled over with these yellow stars, we see coming to them many small bees - chiefly Halictus - to gather pollen for their unhatched babies' bread. Of course they do not carry all the pollen to their tunneled nurseries; some must often be rubbed off on the sticky pistil tip in the center of other stars. The stamens radiate, that self-fertilization need not take place except as a last extremity. Visitors failing, the little flower closes, bringing its pollen-laden anthers in contact with its own stigma.
Next: BLACKBERRY LILY
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