17 de agosto de 2020

Clematis pitcheri vs. Clematis crispa

When I moved to south Texas in the mid-coast area, I knew that I would see many new species of plants. That has been true, and it is so exciting. In July along the side of a highway, I thought that I had seen and photographed Clematis crispa. But after getting help from some people who know the Clematis genus, I discovered that I had actually seen one of the 18-20 variants of Clematis pitcheri. When I was trying to ID this plant, I had learned that the edges of the sepals of Clematis crispa are crisped, ruffled and that the underside of the sepals are bi-color. I thought that was what I was seeing in the flower. Here is a link to my observation: https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/52963866. The second photo shows the bi-color of the sepals underneath.

Sonnia Hill and Gary Vann taught me what to look for and photograph in order to ID these two species. I would like to pass this information along to anyone who might be interested. With Gary's permission, I am using many of his words in the descriptions.

  1. Sepals--look at the color of the bottom of the flower. With Pitcheri, the major key is mono deep purple color underneath--or magenta. Never medium or light color. (This is Texas form; to the north it is mono cream underneath.) In contrast, Crispa's underneath sepal colors are bi-color. White runs centrally through each sepal with light blue on each side. According to FNA, the edges of the sepals on both species may be crisped, ruffled; the crispate margin size is 1 mm on C. pitcheri and 1-6 mm on C. crispa.
  2. Number of flowers--FNA states that C. pitcheri is axillary, 1-7 flowered. In the first photo of my observation, beneath the flower that I'm holding you can see two flower buds coming from an axil (bi-axillary). Look for small leaf-like bracts below the flowers on C. pitcheri. Crispa is terminal with one flower and no bracts.
  3. Leaves--Pitcheri has reticulate-veined (like a network) leaves. In the second photo of my observation, you can see a reticulate-veined leaf behind the flower that I'm holding. It doesn't appear as "conspicuous" as FNA states Pitcheri is, but perhaps you get an idea of what to look for and photograph. I didn't get a photograph of the underside of the leaf, and I think that would probably have helped with the ID.

These are the 3 main characteristics that you need to photograph, but I also learned about 3 more that you might see or find interesting.

  1. Seedhead--if possible, get images of the mature (brown) seedhead. Seedheads develop about 90 days after the flower blooms. Pitcheri has shortish bald tails normally, but some have laid down hairs on the proximal tails. In Pitcheri, this is an important piece of information.
  2. Tendrils--Gary tells me that Crispa does not have tendrils usually as it does not climb. In certain instances, however, it does have tendrils and is found wrapping onto the branches of bushes and trees, with a size far beyond normal. This is a variant. FNA states that both species may have tendrils.
  3. Buds--Crispa has much longer tips on flower buds to allow for much greater rolled-up reflexure.

I hope that I've been accurate in what I've written here. If not, please feel free to make corrections in the comments. I'll tag those who might be interested in this information. Please tag anyone else. I hope this helps.
@sonnia @gary1122 @sambiology @eric_keith @wendybirdsbyrv @dirtnkids @sbdplantgal @noreenhoard @katittle @codie_belt @pinkspoonbill @debnance @scottbuckel @rednat @mhollenshead @dg1006 @destiny97 @kimberlietx @connlindajo

Publicado el agosto 17, 2020 11:29 TARDE por suz suz | 5 comentarios | Deja un comentario

19 de junio de 2019

The Wonders of Wildflowers

I came across this essay which is well worth taking the time to read: https://world.wng.org/content/the_wonders_of_wildflowers?fbclid=IwAR1X0u0CxOZphQhrp1pUTQjCy6zf4Ug0MUQlWOEgjbqFddR6IwHALEQD4q0. Anyone who knows me knows how much I love plants and how much I love to find and view under the microscope the seeds of those plants. The author of this essay is not a botanist, amateur or educated, like many of us on iNat. But with his words he paints pictures of the importance of the wildflowers of Texas. The rains of the spring have blessed us with an abundance of wildflowers--statewide. It is one of the things for which our great state is known. Without their beauty, I think that Texas would be a desolate place. Anyway, I hope that you'll take the time to read these words from the author of the children's book series, Hank the Cowdog.

Publicado el junio 19, 2019 06:12 TARDE por suz suz | 3 comentarios | Deja un comentario