Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dutchman's Breeches (Dicentra cucullaria) and Nursery Web Spider

The elongated spurs of our beloved Dutchman’s Breeches sometimes carry a pinkish tinge, as shown below. Fernald mentioned a forma “purpuritincta” with “calyx deep purple and the corolla pink, deep orange at the flexure.” This doesn’t seem to be that form, but it’s worth watching for, even though formae don’t usually carry a lot of taxonomic significance. Imagine you’re a little bee buzzing in for a landing on the upper flower… Everything seems OK, right?...

The second picture shows the same plant from a different angle, where a small Nursery Web Spider waits for its prey. Interestingly, I did not see the spider when taking the photos. If I was a bee, Shelob would be having me for dinner.

More photos of Dutchman’s Breeches, for those who, like me, can never grow tired of seeing and photographing this curious little plant!

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. Henry David Thoreau Journal, 1851.

1 comment:

Ted C. MacRae said...

Such a lovely plant - one never tires of seeing it.