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!

16 comments:

  1. Oh, I'm so glad you joined us! I'd really love to come see wildflowers on the prairie. Thank you for showing us the gumbo lily. It is amazing that they grow up out of cracked clay where hardly anything else grow. Don't you just want to be like that, beauty, no matter how hard life gets. I'm inspired.

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  2. Elizabeth Joy,
    This is exactly how I want to be and therefore the name of my blog -- Gumbo Lily. I'm glad you stopped to visit!

    Jody

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  3. I never knew that about the clay soil called gumbo... and here I've been trying to get my roux the color of your gumbo :-)

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  4. Ohh I learned something new today, cool. xoxoxo Clarice

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  5. I knew that flower instantly as Evening Primrose. I'd never heard the name Gumbo Lily, but I love learning all the many nicknames of wildflowers. Once upon a time I bought some Evening Primrose at a local nursery. I loved the delicate pink flowers. I had no idea that it grows wild in so many places here or that it would take over my flower bed. I like wildflowers better anyway:o)

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  6. What a lovely flower! I've never heard of a gumbo lily before and wondered where your blog name originated.

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  7. I love your Gumbo lily and I learned something new visiting you today! Beautiful. How interesting it must be to live near/on a Prairie! Enjoy..

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  8. I never knew that gumbo lily was a flower....I'm just an ignorat Norwegian :-)

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  9. I agree with Elizabeth Joy, there's a lesson in this delicate blossom. Thanks for the inspiration. I posted a flower piX today as well. It's eXotic, but probably not a wildflower. I'd love some help identifying it!

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  10. First of all, how wonderful that you live on a praire!

    Secondly, I love the name of the lily!

    Thanks for sharing.

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  11. beautiful = and the lovely music. quite a peaceful visit. Thanks for the dreamy smile.

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  12. Hi Jody,

    I'm so glad you are participating in the Wildflowers celebration that Elizabeth Joy is hostessing. I love your picture and look forward to future themed posts.

    Enjoy a lovely day! It's very cold here tonight --- in the teens --- and it really does help to think of spring flowers. Maybe those thoughts will warm me up just a little bit!

    LaTeaDah

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  13. Hello Gumbo Lily,
    I am glad that you have selected your namesake as your favorite wildflower picture. Your lovely flower is new to me. This grows in your very own prairie? Most of our prairies here are protected lands.

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  14. I'm glad you've all stopped by. I didn't know what a gumbo lily was either until I moved to the country some 26 years ago. I'm glad I did.

    Jody

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  15. I'm going to assume the lovely gumbo lily is a native prairie flower. Here we used to see the low, white pasque flowers. My mom tells how, in the Spring, the pasture was full of them. For the past 20 years, that pasture has been farmed... as is so much of the land. Flowers are gone. Very sad.

    Isn't it fun to see what is Still "out there?" Thanks for sharing.

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I love reading your comments. Thanks for stopping in. Sorry, but due to spam, only registered users can comment.

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