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The Ashley reservoir is now one of my go-to places to take people when they visit. I took my old college friend and her husband there, and learned that the water-loving plant that I had thought looked very mangrove-y is buttonbush (Cephalanthus occidentalis), which grows up and down the Atlantic coast and as far inland as the Mississippi, and is indeed a species in the mangrove biome!


button bush (Cephalanthus occidentalis)

Yesterday I took [personal profile] osprey_archer there (and we read aloud to each other--so much fun), and lo and behold, the buttonbush was in bloom! I didn't have a camera, so she obliged me with a photo:

Buttonbush in flower, by [personal profile] osprey_archer

The flowers look like how pollen looks under a scanning electron microscope:

Buttonbush flowers....

buttonbush flowers

Pollen, much magnified:


Or, um... like an influenza virus...


It smells nice, though, and bees and butterflies love it. AS DO I.

This entry was originally posted at http://asakiyume.dreamwidth.org/857575.html. Comments are welcome at either location.


( 16 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 23rd, 2017 11:09 am (UTC)
I've never seen a buttonbush but they look really cool.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:09 pm (UTC)
They are! And they like wet feet--they can grow in water.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 12:54 pm (UTC)
Those blue flowers are especially lovely!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:11 pm (UTC)
I think you may be misinterpreting a photo, or maybe this comment was meant for someone else's page? There are no blue flowers here, only white ones--though the final picture (of the influenza virus) has tiny blue rods on it.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:18 pm (UTC)
Down at the bottom, a really gorgeous shade of blue. My eyes zoomed straight to it.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:25 pm (UTC)
If you mean the last picture, that's the influenza virus! So beautiful, and yet the cause of so much misery!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:29 pm (UTC)
No, it's the top picture. Way at the bottom of it, there are blue blossoms. I thought those were the ones you meant at first. (There's a tiny bit of it at the extreme low right, too.) An exquisite shade of blue.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:33 pm (UTC)
Ah--in that case, I think what you're seeing is the reflection of the sky in the water. It's hard, because different monitors display colors differently, so you and I are looking at slightly different versions of the same picture, but there's water and sunlight sparkles in the bottom half of that picture, and I think that must be it. If you click on the photo, and then click again, you'll see the whole thing much larger: it's just bushes growing in water, with deep shade and bright sunlight dappling everywhere.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, you're right! I embiggened it, and yes, it's the sky. But what a beautiful shade!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:47 pm (UTC)
What a perfectly cromulent word.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:49 pm (UTC)
And I love cromulent. It tastes like scones with honey butter.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:58 pm (UTC)
mmm, you're making my mouth water. osprey_archer and I ate lots of scones--which we made ourselves!--while she was here.
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:12 pm (UTC)
What an extraordinary flower! So perfectly spherical, and so strange...

Thank you!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:13 pm (UTC)
My pleasure! It really is something, isn't it!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:53 pm (UTC)
The resemblance between the buttonbush flower and the influenza virus is uncanny!
Jul. 23rd, 2017 01:57 pm (UTC)
Isn't it? It's as if nature recycles certain designs. "Hmmm, haven't used this one recently... sure no one will mind if I repeat myself."
( 16 comments — Leave a comment )

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