Thursday, June 07, 2007

While walking home from the Senior Center, I spotted this wildflower in a planter near the Strand Theater.

It is one of my favorites, called Venus' Looking Glass. I have never found out why this relatively inconspicuous flower has such a fancy name, but to me it is part of its charm. The color is lovely and I like the way the leaves clasp around the flower.

For a closer look, click here.

It's always a pleasant surprise to find a special wildflower, whether in a meadow, forest or downtown planter. When I first began studying wildflowers, I read my guides over the winter in hopes of recognizing the plants in their habitat and blooming season.

Another small but interesting flower is called Poor Man's Weather Glass. It is salmon-red, with purple markings. One of its other names is Scarlet Pimpernel.

The common names of wildflowers obviously came from a time when people were much closer to nature and had time to study each plant's qualities. Discovering a wildflower always makes me think of those simpler days.

--Bernice Paglia


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