Sunday, January 20, 2008
Wildflowers in Winter -- the Gumbo Lily
This photograph may be somewhat familiar to those of you who have been visiting "Gumbo Lily" for awhile. This is a picture of an actual gumbo lily that was growing out on my prairie this past spring. It is one of my favorite flowers which can be found growing in the barren, clay soil that we call gumbo -- super-slippery when wet, hard and cracked when dry. The four-petaled flowers are about 3 inches across and bloom for a single day or two and close up shortly after the first direct sunlight shines down upon them, opening again in the evening. Gumbo lilies are pollinated by night-flying insects. The flowers are white and gradually fade to a light pink as you see in this picture. We find the gumbo lilies around the end of May which is when our northern prairie is beginning to wake up and bloom.
Its official name is Gumbo Evening Primrose and its scientific name is Oenothera caespitosa.
If you'd like to participate in Wildflowers in Winter, I direct you to the blog Wildflower Morning where you will find the details to participate weekly. This week's post is "your favorite wildflower photograph." There will be a special drawing at the end of this series at Wildflower Morning, and I will also be giving away a special gift (yet to be determined) here to a special someone who leaves comments on any of the Wildflower in Winter posts. Enjoy!