Thursday, July 31, 2008

Thirdless Thursday (Yet again, when you only have two of something.)

Previous thirdless Thursdays here and here.

Today, members of the evening primrose family, one garden variety, one wild. These are in the Family Onagraceae, which also includes the widely distributed willowherbs and well-known Fuchsia. The flowers of members of this family typically have four sepals and four petals, four to eight stamens and one inferior ovary. The flowers can be solitary in leave axils or on terminal spikes or racemes.

Garden variety evening primrose, Oenothera sp. (erythrocephala(?))

The genus Oenothera is native to North and South America and contains more than a hundred species. The picture above is a common garden ornamental. Wild Oenothera spp. are colonizers of disturbed sites but can be quickly outcompeted by more aggressive species. The flowers tend to be open later in the day and are thus pollinated by bees active at that time. Typically only one or a few blossoms are open at a time, with spent ones dangling below like parachutes stuck in trees. Smells purty.

Fireweed, Epilobium augustifolium.

The most conspicuous member of the family along the BC coast and Greater Vancouver Area is probably thw willowherb, fireweed, Epilobium augustifolium, whose fluff-bearing airborne seeds help colonize roadsides, clearings, ditch edges, window boxes, an old dirt-filled boot -- wherever it lands on bare soil. It is one of several willowherbs in the Pacific northwest.

More fireweed. (Lots more.)

Here it is growing along a public walking trail behind a subdivision. A black and white domestic feline sometimes lurks in there, pretending to be a jungle cat.

And I should admit that I may have cheated in regard to thirdlessness. I probably have a picture of Fuchsia somewhere.

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