A Little Night Botany

I will give the human female this:  there is one facet of her existence in which both her botanical skills and her sloth (by which I mean her laziness, not the stuffed representative of the Xenarthra which resides on the sofa) have paid off.  When the humans first moved into the house (back in the Mesozoic), the female noticed a few pink evening primroses in the weedy lawn.  Subscribing to the theory that most wildflowers are pleasing to have about the place, she mowed around them.  Less lawn to mow, and all that.

She continued with this regimen in subsequent years, with the result that the front lawn now looks like this:

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I took that photo a bit ago. They’ve actually filled in a bit since then.  It’s by far the most gaudy and profligate display on the street.

Tonight, feeling in a bit of science-ish mode, the human female has taken her little black-light flashlight and come out to see if the flowers have any markings visible in UV light.  According to her, some flowers do, since many pollinating insects can see UV light.  These markings can serve as nectar guides, etc., etc., [insert long string of botanese.]

At any rate, here we are.  Flashlight on, and…

By Odin’s rotten depth-perception!  Boost me up, mortal, so that I may better see!  Observe:  there are no specific markings, but the flowers themselves glow brightly under UV, while the surrounding foliage appears dark.

oenothera1

Under strong, directional UV, they fairly glow.

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Come look, Sigyn!

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Just don’t lean in too far —you know how hard it is to get pollen out of your hair!

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