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Saturday, July 18, 2009

Enchanter's Nightshade


two blooms of enchanters nightshade

I've continued to try to picture these tiny flowers, and all I can tell you is that I can't yet make this new camera do what I want it to. For now, this is the best I can get. Each flower is less than 1/8 inch wide.

Let's do a little botany. Common names often are not helpful, and calling this a nightshade is odd. Most nightshades are in the Solanaceae, yes those tomatoes and the clammy ground-cherry.

The family for this plant, Onagraceae, is the Evening Primrose family, and flowers in it are usually easily identified by four petals and the stigma in the middle with a cross shaped tip. This plant just has to be different! It has two petals, although each is deeply lobed. The stigma has a two-part tip, rather than four-part. See the yellow arrow pointing to it.

Now I'll have to try to get a closeup of the evening primrose to show you that typical cross-shaped stigma! Sorry for the crummy pictures, my friends.
closeup of bloom of enchanters nightshadecloseup of bloom of enchanters nightshade
closeup of bloom of enchanters nightshadecloseup of bloom of enchanters nightshade

OutdoorBlips: vote it up!

See Down By the Creek for the whole Enchanter's Nightshade plant


rainfield61 said...

To picture a tiny flower is difficult, especially when the wind is blowing. I always try to use continuous mode to capture a few and hopefully I can get at least one good picture at the end.

Christa Bledsoe said...

Those are beautiful shots. Thank you for sharing :)

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

rainfield- I think part of the problem was low light. The first one was taken with a flash... and the camera kept saying it needed it. It is crisper, but oddly colored. The others have the right colors, but without flash are fuzzy.

Christa- well, I'm glad you like 'em. It is amazing what beauty there can be in such tiny flowers.

Ratty said...

These pictures are plenty good enough to help you describe what you are trying to say. Sometimes that's enough for what you need. Maybe if you try either macro view or manual focus, if your camera has those. I know manual focus works the best for me with the small stuff. Even that gives me trouble sometimes though.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Ratty- Yes, I'm using Macro, and trying to get used to the manual focus, but it just doesn't seem to work very well. I'll keep working on it. I think the low light level was a problem. The colors on the first shot are strange in the flash, but it's crisper.

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