Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Cinqfoil - Potentilla Recta - Potentille

This is another introduced species - I'm starting to feel like most of the wildflowers I like seeing at the lake are introduced species, actually. Anyway, cinqfoil (fr: potentille), potentilla recta, is a rather unassuming and undramatic flower at least where I've seen it, likely because growing conditions are very harsh at the lake.

P. recta inflorescence
For perspective, this flower is less than 1cm across. Tiny thing, really. They don't bloom or grow particularly profusely at the lake, either, so they're rather easy to miss. The fun of this flower is getting closer to it and starting to see the small details, like the wedge shape of the petals and the way they don't touch each other, forming a sort of inverse star, an asterisk of negative space. And the shaky-looking dots of the anthers on the near-invisible filaments, or the slightly fuzzy-looking pistil. I like the base five form of this plant a lot.

P. recta inflorescence after pollination
The petals have fallen off of this blossom, likely because it's been pollinated. The base five shape is still very much in evidence, with the base five sepals (leaves under the petals) visible. The anthers are more clearly visible here against a greener background. I like the subtle gradation of yellow to green from the centre of the flower outward along the sepals. The rather spiky appearance of p. recta's leaves is visible in this shot. I really like the foliage of this plant; angular and slightly aggressive but still lacy and delicate.

I find myself daydreaming about childhood today...

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