A Walk in Fern Bluff Park
April 4, 2001

by Jerry Cates

Small Wine Cup (Wheel Mallow)
Mallow Family (Malvaceae)

 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

The involucre (left two photos) is vaguely similar to that of the basket anemone, but much more robust and complex. The basal leaves (below) are palmately veined, and deeply incised. Buds, sepals, and stems are densely pubescent. 

This flower closely resembles the Wine Cup (Callirhoe involucrata). C. involucrata has a flower that is 1.5-2 inches across, however. 

I found this tiny flower, which measured about ½ inch across, in the grass near the entrance to the tennis courts on April 4, 2001. At that location a fairly large number of these could be seen. Later, it was also found in other open, brightly sunlit locations in the park. At first glance it appeared to be a Scarlet Pimpernel, as the petals were almost an identical size, and had an almost identical shade of reddish orange. On closer inspection I noticed the darkened interior, caused by the cup-like arrangement of the inflorescence and the shadows cast on the interior of the flower by the thick sepals that embraced its exterior surfaces. Each orange petal abruptly changed its coloration to light green near its point of attachment, leaving a greenish ring around the center of the flower. The leaves were deeply incised, with five lobes. Obviously, this was another taxa altogether.

The five regularly arranged, symmetrical petals are completely free, and appeared at first glance to be attached with the sepals to the sides of the ovary (ovary in semi-inferior position). On closer inspection, however, it seems that the petals are attached beneath the ovary, placing the latter in the superior position. This, along with the fact that the numerous stamens are fused into a column, showed this flower is a member of the Mallow Family (Malvaceae).

Bugsinthenews ... Red Flower Gallery

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