August 06, 2006

just a flower, part 1

Belamcanda chinensis broke my heart.

My grandmother grew so many beautiful flowers. But the heyday of her gardens was about 15 years ago. Then she started "cutting back" - digging up plants and distributing them about the country to friends and folks just getting a flower garden started. Her flowers are scattered all over the Sandhills. But not a single flowerbed on the ranch has been tended (watered, weeded, or noticed) for at least 5 years. So every time I find a flower blooming, it is a little miracle.

And this little lovely was tucked over in the corner of the yard, in the shade of the lilac bushes.
It is called a 'Blackberry Lily' (or Leopard Flower), though it is related to neither blackberries or lilies. If you break open the seed pod, you find a tiny cluster of shiny little black seeds that looks like a blackberry. The flowers and foliage do resemble a lily, though their petite delicacy reminds me more of an orchid. Apparently, there is new DNA evidence that suggests that Belamcanda chinensis is closely related to Iris.

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