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Tinier spring flowers

 
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2006 9:18 pm    Post subject: Tinier spring flowers Reply with quote

A few weeks ago, I posted about some "tiny spring flowers" that were only about 3mm across.

Today I ran into these even tinier flowers, growing by the side of the road in sand under a sagebrush.

Now I know they say to keep an eye out for the little things. But this seems like going to extremes! Very Happy



I don't know what these flowers are. The University of Washington's online herbarium didn't help on this one (though it usually does great!), nor have any of my match-the-picture books. This one may remain a mystery. I suppose it's worth noting for posterity that the flower with apparently 4 petals is an anomaly -- most have 5.

--Rik

Technical: Canon 300D camera, Olympus 38mm macro on bellows at f/5.6, stacked by Helicon Focus at 0.002" focus step.
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S. Alden
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Joined: 29 Apr 2004
Posts: 2780
Location: Pennsylvania, USA

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice scale shown here. Beautiful flowers and so very tiny.
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Ken Ramos
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Joined: 04 May 2004
Posts: 4809
Location: Western North Carolina

PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2006 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Could they be Sand Myrtle? Nice shots! Very Happy
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Kenneth Ramos
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Thu May 04, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ken, sand myrtle is an interesting suggestion. From Google search, it doesn't look right. The leaf structure is quite a bit different, though you can't tell from the low-res stuff that I posted. On the other hand, it could be something related. I'll have to take a look at my more technical references and see if it that's a good lead.

--Rik
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Wed Jul 12, 2006 7:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well (duh!), it finally occurred to me that I have friends who can ID plants like this off the tops of their heads.

So today I asked one. She replied:

Quote:
Cryptantha circumscissa or matted cryptantha sometimes mat cryptantha. Because we had such a long cool and wet spring, this tiny spring annual grew to "gigantic" proportions for this species, and was much more evident than in drier years. It's common in sandy soils of grasslands and shrublands.

It's in the Boraginaceae family --so related to forget me nots and tarweed fiddleneck .

Hope this is helpful.

Very helpful, indeed -- thanks, Janelle!

Ken, Sand Myrtle is in the family Ericaceae, not closely related.

Ah, it's nice to tie off a loose end! Very Happy

--Rik
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MacroLuv



Joined: 05 Jul 2006
Posts: 131
Location: Croatia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! This is Lilliputian! Even dust is comparable in size. Very Happy
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Sven Bernert



Joined: 02 May 2004
Posts: 336
Location: Dessau, Germany

PostPosted: Sat Jul 15, 2006 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is one intersting photograph with all those pieces of dust and sand and the PIP with the scale. Nicely done Rik.

Have I got that right from your friend that those tiny flowers are huge this years compared to their size in "normal" years?

Thanks and best,
Sven
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rjlittlefield



Joined: 06 May 2005
Posts: 727
Location: Richland, WA, USA

PostPosted: Mon Jul 17, 2006 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sven,

I asked my friend again. She replied:

"The flowers might be very slightly larger--probably not detectable without measuring. But, in general, the plants grew for a longer time period and produced larger stems, taller plants, larger diameter plants overall."

So in a much dryer year, the plant might be 1/3 this big, sort of like clipping off all but the central stem and the half-dozen flowerheads on it.

Thanks for the feedback about the PIP and scale bar. I'm trying to learn how to pack more info into limited space and have it look good too. It's taking me a long time to develop both the "eye" and the Photoshop technique. Maybe eventually I learn how to do it well. I am very grateful to other posters who do things I can learn from. <Insert bowing-in-gratitude emoticon here.>

MacroLuv, I was struck also by how tiny these were. When I first found them, I was not equipped to take specimens home, and these were much too small to shoot what I wanted in the field. So I made a special trip back to get a specimen that I could stick in my stacking setup. A fair amount of trouble, but I like the result. Very Happy

--Rik
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