A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
March 15, 2001 

Page 3

Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

About 30 feet away from this primrose was a pair of bright reddish-blue flowers, at the very edge of the mowed recreation field. The mower had cut some of the leaves of this plant, as the photo at right shows. Three flowers commonly found in this area, all members of the genus Tradescantia, have the general characteristics of this plant. Two others, of the same family (Commelinaceae) but from a different genus (Commelina) are vaguely similar. The genus Tradescantia is named for John Tradescant (the elder), a 17th-Century naturalist. Note the hairs on the upper leaves, buds and sepals. The lower leaves were glabrous (hairless).

 

Remember the evening primrose from our last walk? We did not have enough information to decide between the Stemless Evening Primrose (Oenothera triloba) or the Cut-Leaf Evening Primrose (O. laciniata). The photo at left, taken today, is of the same flower after the petals have withered. Note the pale yellowish "stem" extending from the flower to the rosette of basal leaves, that looks more like a part of the flower than a (normally green) stem. This is what we would expect to see with O. triloba. Lacking a stem, the long floral tube serves as the "stalk" of the flower. Now we will watch to see how the seed develops to confirm or deny our suspicions.

Only one of the three species found here has this pattern of pubescence, and that is the Giant Spiderwort (T. gigantea). The Granite Spiderwort (T. pedicellata) is densely pubescent throughout the plant's body, while the Western Spiderwort (T. occidentalis) is pubescent on the sepals and pedicels, but otherwise glabrous (smooth, without hairs).

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Archives of previous walks in the park: 12 May 2007 05 May 2007; 28 April 2007, 21 April 2007, 14 April 2007,  1 April 2007 Easter Egg Hunt; 24 March 2007,  17 March 2007; Nov. 03, 2001; April 04, 2001; March 25, 15, 10-11, 04, 2001; February 2418, 10, 2001

Blue Flower Gallery


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