Wednesday, September 28, 2016

blooming in autumn

blooming in autumn --
bottle gentian, pried open
only by bumblebees

Late September, I am looking for the last blue blossoms of great blue lobelia to see if the seeds swelling along the stem are ready to harvest. Not quite. Nearby, the flowers of cup plants, once hoisted aloft on 3 meter high stems, have gone to seed, shattering at my touch. Almost hidden beneath the giant cup plant leaves on the ground, I discover a late-blooming wildflower, bottle gentian. Clusters of striped lavender blossoms, nearly closed at the top, look more like buds than full-blown flowers. Only the burly bumblebee is strong enough to push open the corollas to sip on the nectar inside the "bottle."

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