Friday, April 11, 2014

A pretty bloom.

Once again, just when I thought I had uncovered every last blue (and purple) wildflower in Vinoland I have found another.  I think I have mentioned it numerous times before that blue (and purple) flowering plants are my favourites and I find them all as enchanting as one another, so it made me really happy to find this little blossom.
Identifying this particular wildflower turned out to be a little difficult.  Of course it is obviously very iris-like, but the two most common native Californian irises that I identified, in a couple of native plant guides I possess in my smallish reference library, happen to be the Douglas Iris (Iris douglasiana) and the Western Blueflag Iris (Iris missouriensis).  Neither of these irises are really considered to be wild flowers as often they have simply just escaped cultivation.  So I turned to the internet to do some further research and I am 99% sure that my, quite diminutive, iris is the Bowltube Iris (Iris macrosiphon).  Found on slopes and in woodlands, the flowering stalk on the bowltube is much shorter (and stalk-less) than the attending leaves, a feature which distinguishes this iris from the aforementioned two.  The iris in the photograph is rather close to the ground, it's leaves being more than twice it's height.
One interesting snippet of information about this iris is that it was a source of fibre for Native Americans who harvested the leaves to produce cordage that they used to make bird nets, fish nets, deer snares and other useful items.  I am not going to be ripping the foliage from this agreeable little flower any time soon, as I want it to reappear next year (and I think it may be the only one of it's kind in Vinoland).  So flower on little weed.


Thomas said...

Nice, Vinogirl. Just nice.

I'm certain you've seen this site:

Your iris shows up there.

Trubes said...

Lovely Iris one of my favourite flowers, Are you old enough to remember the Mersey Ferry Boats, The Royal Iris and The Royal Daffodil ? I used to go on cruises down the river on these boats with live bands playing.. the 'Watneys Red Barre'l washed the decks....
One particular night it was so rough they had to close down the Fish n Chip bar... Aye golden days !

Vinogirl said...

Tomasso: Thanks :) Yes, that is one of the online sites I used to identify this little gem.

Trubes: Older than you think :) I actually photographed the 'Royal Iris' 2 years ago for my final project in a photography class I was taking. Also got dangled over the edge of the ferry once (circa 1981), long story.