Small world: part 2 — mysteries of the lantana

This is a great example of how one can actually learn things through macro photography.

And I don’t mean things about photography, though there certainly is learning going on in that regard. I’m referring to learning things about nature — in this instance, about the way certain flowers behave.

From out of the gloom

Lantana comes in several color varieties, all of which feature tiny blooms. In the case of Texas native L. horrida (or L. camara), these are variously pinkish-rosy or yellow in color. Lantana is a great plant for Texas gardens because it requires very little watering and is heat-tolerant. Plus, it attracts bees, butterflies and hummingbirds.

When you look closely at the blooms on a lantana, you’ll notice that each ringlet of petite flowers encircles and surrounds a mass of even tinier structures that look like pillows, or lozenges, or chiclets maybe. For the longest time I couldn’t figure out what these little buttons had to do with anything. (Because I’m not a botanist, and because I wasn’t so concerned about it that I had an inclination to look it up on the internet.)

Anyway, a viewing of yesterday’s photos of lantana taken with the 105mm macro show that these tabs are just the precursors of the actual blooms — you can plainly see one of them opening up in this image:

What are those pillow-like things anyway… D’OH!

No great revelation, perhaps, to anyone with plant savvy — but to me, it came as a surprise, since the shape of these nubbins is so unlike that of a typical flower bud. Just another bit of knowledge I never might have gleaned, were it not for an interest in macro photography.

Indulge me while I include a couple more photos of Echinacea — it’s just hard not to keep photographing these showoffs of the garden!

Inner circle

A flower’s flower

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3 thoughts on “Small world: part 2 — mysteries of the lantana

  1. Pingback: Turk’s Cap, native Texas flower in 90 seconds « Millard Fillmore's Bathtub

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