Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Capture Arkansas

I have enough Mags on here, that you really don't need anymore... but if you just can't get enough of this picture-grabbing standard, check out another Grandiflora gallery on my sister site "The Mighty Works Project"  Or, better yet -- Vote on this -- an thousands and thousands of other images from the Natural State, now on display at Capture Arkansas.  (And while I certainly won't mind your vote on my photos, there is so much addictive fun to be had there, you can spend hours, diging and nixing.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Southern Magnolia

Recycle, all pics earlier years, but as of May 16, 2009 the blooms are coming on strong.

Southern Magnolia
Magnolia grandiflora

Kingdom: Plantae
Division: Magnoliophyta
Class: Magnoliopsida
Order: Magnoliales
Family: Magnoliaceae
Genus: Magnolia
Species: M. grandiflora

Magnolia grandiflora rightly deserves its name. With a bloom as big as a cantaloupe, or even a football, this flower is grand indeed.

I have a suspicion that the Southern Magnolia (an evergreen) is not a true Arkansas wild tree-- though they may grow apart from human effort in the far south. I have no concrete evidence, I've simply never encountered one in the wild.

As a northern boy, I'd never seen a Magnolia till I moved, age 12 to Tulsa Oklahoma. Both it, and the Mimosa tree with its fibrous bloom, astonished me.

Turns out plenty of others are astonished too. I bet the Southern Magnolia and Calla Lilly fall just behind the rose as floral photo subjects, with Magnolia being a favored black and white subject. Beyond that, it makes a fine subject for the nose, with just a hint of pine.

For some fine art samples see:

Ozark Magnolia



Info to be added.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Spider Lily

These are from last year at this time... and guess what. They are right on time. I took a few more pics of the same in the last days, and nice dress shoes are still stinking wet from wading into the bog to take them. I guess I should carry sneakers with me.
Spider Lily, or -- my name: "Gothic Bride"
Hymenocallis occidentalis or
Hymenocallis caroliniana
family: Liliaceae

All pics 5/12/2005 - in the empty field across from the Dave Ward Walmart in Conway, AR

Turns out there are several different flowers of quite different appearance (but belonging to the lily family) that claim the name "Spider lily" -- and this is one of them. Scientific name is either Hymenocallis occidentalis (see : ) or Hymenocallis caroliniana (see: ).

Concerning the name, the folks at 2-bn-the- wild write: Hymenocallis means "beautiful membrane" which refers to the the corona that connects the stalks of the stamens for a portion of their length. This is a large spectacular flower that is exciting to find unexpectedly.

I concur. First time I saw one I was so "startled" that I thought it must be fake. But it didn't feel like plastic... or even a regular flower. In keeping with its swampy nature, it felt kind of sticky and damp, like wilted cabbage.

This lily is built on a symmetry of six. Six Stamen, six petals, six corona sections.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Lance Leaf Coreopsis

Repost, last year same time, and yup - the clock of the world is running on time, complet with washout rain.

Common: Lance Leaf Coreopsis
or Lance-leaf tickseed
Coreopsis Lanceolata
Family: Asteraceae
The family Asteraceae or Compositae (known as the aster, daisy, or sunflower family) is the largest family of flowering plants in terms of number of species (and are noted for complex centers, each containg many "micro" flowers)
all Pics, May 6, 2008, Highway 64 just east of Conway, AR
Because of the "lancing" each Lance Leaf Coreopis appears to have many petals, however, each flower comes with only eight.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Red Clover (looks purple to me)

(2009 Repost) 

The same person who named the Redbud tree must have named Red Clover. As is, in the last month I got a number of hits to this site for folks looking for name of the really red clover that grows along our highways. They should know that that is Crimson clover, while this pale purple substitute, is "Red"

More info to be posted.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Honey suckle

Recycle from 2008 (As of May 3, the patches are not as thick as the big-patch pictures, but are quickly headed that direction.)

It was with no small disappointment that I learned a few years back that the Honeysuckle is not regarded by many naturalists as a wonderful thing. At least not as it makes its home in more and more American woodlands.

As a kid I earned how to pull the pistil of the Honeysuckle out the back and trough the tube of the flower -- then touch a drop of watery nectar to my tongue. Wallah.. hidden honey.

Now I've learned that this plant (sometimes called Japanese Honeysuckle or by the Latin name "Lonicera japonica" is of Asian origin and has few natural predators. If left unchecked, it can choke out native species.

For more info:

Yellow Honeysuckle (Lonicera flava) (native varitey)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Privet (Wild Prvet, Privet Hedge)

"Wild" Privet

Ligustrum (ovalifolium)?

Family: Oleaceae

Recycle from 2008 (As of May 2nd, not all the the bushes are this advanced, but they are coming on full force, and folks will want to know what they are.)

Look anywhere around Arkansas, and you are bound to see Privet as part of our highway underbrush. For the most part Privet is "invisible" till it blooms in May then shows us just how much of it there is. For those of us who love its fragrance, Privet is a wonderful thing. (Some folks find them too fragrant. Oddly, They seem most potent at night when you can't see them.)

Privet is a European or Asian transplant, and invasive. But it isn't only found on the roadside. With a little pruning Privet can be "made" a tree, or more commonly, a hedge.
For unwild uses see:

You can see a huge stand of "wild" Privet on the North Little Rock Hill, where Interstate 40 and Interstate 30 merge, near JFK. But its pretty much everywhere, though often mixed and merged with concurrent blooming Honeysuckle. (Honeysuckle runs yellowish, but at a distance Privet and Honey-Suckle often look alike ... Except that Privet spikes into the air, and is its own thing, rather than a vine.

For more on Privet see:
For more on the Oleaceae family (which includes olives) see:

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Pink Evening Primrose

Pink Evening Primrose
(Recycle, from May 1, 2008)

Speaking about clockwork, all of these images were taken in the first days of May... across three separate years.

Location: Conway, AR entrance ramp, and I-40 between Maumelle, AR and the I-430 exchange.
The pink eveing primrose is part of a much larger Primrose family, some wof which look much different than the flower pictured here. A quick survey of the Primrose family suggests that a common element may be the striking four pronged pistil.
As is, the Pink Evening Primrose is built on a 2/4/8 symmetry.
Each bloom appears to have four major petals, which in turn are divided into two symetrical halves. The two halves together form something of a heart. (When viewed from obove, the bloom --with four squat hearts, can look kind of squarish) Each bloom comes with eight stamen, with yellow pollinated anthers. The four-pronged pisitl shoots out of the central well, with a dirct feed to the seed chamber about a half-inch below.

These things are heavy pollinators, marking my clothes whith thick sploches of yellow. They appear to grow in patches, and the individual clusters often form in of a dome (with the older growth at the center lifted slightly higher.)