08.18.2019 Blue Curls

I was unaware of these little beauties until I was looking for dragonflies at Atkins Reservoir last week (the same day as the Golden Hedge-hyssop landscapes) and happened upon them. They are from a few inches to two feet tall although I’ve only seen them towards the short end of things..  The purple caught my eye.

Forked Blue Curls-Trichostema dichotomum  are in the mint family and are of benefit to pollinators, especially bees. The plants are native to the U.S. with a range from the northeast to the southeast and as far south west as Texas. They are annuals and the flowers last only one day, but the plants produce them in large numbers from summer into autumn.

How the flower got its name.  I guess the stamens brush against the pollinators upper body as it enters the flower.  I didn’t get to see anyone visiting but I don’t think it is the same mechanism as Grass Pinks or Mountain Laurels.

About Steve Gingold

I am a Nature Photographer with interests in all things related. Water, flowers, insects and fungi are my main interests but I am happy to photograph wildlife and landscapes and all other of Nature's subjects.
This entry was posted in Closeup Photography, Flora, macro photography, Nature Photography, Western Massachusetts, wildflower portrait, Wildflowers and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

20 Responses to 08.18.2019 Blue Curls

  1. As with our unrelated blue curls in Texas (Phacelia congesta), I see the flowers’ color as purple or violet, not blue.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s a beautiful color, whatever it is. If I turn the photo on edge, it’s a beautiful bird with curving plumes on its head

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Jessica says:

    Wow- stunning photos. The flower detail is amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. shoreacres says:

    I’d never heard of these; like Steve, I’ve always associated our P. congesta with ‘blue curls.’ But when I looked at the USDA map, lo and behold — these are listed for some of the east Texas counties where I’ve begun roaming from time to time, including Hardin County, where the Sandyland Sanctuary’s located. Since this blooms summer-fall, it’s another that I need to look for. It might just be there.

    I’m not sure what it is about them that led to “forked” being part of the name, but I am sure that the flower’s beautifully detailed, and your photos do it justice. I especially like the first photo. That plant seems so perky.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I had checked the USDA map prior to posting to see if they make it to Texas. I should have linked it to make your quest a bit easier. I hope you find them at the sanctuary…or elsewhere.
      I haven’t read how they got their name, but maybe the stamens reminded of fork tines? They do look perky-that word reminds me of a childhood parakeet pet..

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Todd Henson says:

    They have a really fascinating look to them. That second photograph does a great job showing off those fancy eyelashes.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. bluebrightly says:

    That’s a new one! But I can see why it’s in the mint family. Very pretty! And that blue!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I suppose I could pick a bunch and make some tea. They were new to me also, in a way. I photographed one a few years ago but misidentified it. It is a lovely shade of blue, isn’t it?

      Like

      • bluebrightly says:

        It absolutely is, and blue can go all wrong in photographs. What I said about your gentians about the way you photographed the color applies here as well. Ever since I learned about square stems in the mint family I have been compelled to feel the stem when I see one – I love that detail. Do you know about it? And the opposite leaves/flowers are also nice, the way they typically march up the stem in a rather orderly way.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I learned about the square stems a while ago. These surprise many as they are not exactly square but squarish. 🙂 Leaves on the march. I like that.

        Like

      • bluebrightly says:

        There are a few that don’t have such square stems – they need to get with the program! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. That is a real beauty, Steve, and nicely photographed.

    Liked by 1 person

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