Saturday, July 05, 2008

Flowering things

If you head toward the back door (staff parking lot end of the building) of the Nature Centre in the next little while, you're in for a treat. Our Prickly Pear Cactus garden is beginning to flower, and it's a real show.

After you've admired the cactus be sure to check out what other things are flowering in the Wildflower Garden. When I looked today the Columbines in particular were showing off nicely.

Out on the trails there are many other things flowering, but sometimes you have to look a little more closely to find them. I noticed these Twinflowers blooming beside the Wishart Trail today. They're a personal favourite of mine, partly because it takes a bit of work to find them, and partly because (according to science folklore, anyway) Twinflower is the only plant that Carl Linnaeus, the father of modern taxonomy, chose to name after himself. There's something kind of neat about the man who was naming everything deciding on such a tiny but beautiful flower for his own.

Here's a look at the underside of the bell-shaped flowers, with my fingers giving a sense of scale. If you want to find Twinflowers the next time you're out for a walk, look for a creeping, oval-leaved plant that likes to grow along the edges of the path in moist coniferous or mixed-wood forest.

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