It’s been rather a long time since I’ve featured a botanical subject here, so it seems a good time to resurrect my “Friday Flower” meme with this delightful little wildflower seen on my birthday field trip a few weeks ago. Phacelia purshii (family Hydrophyllaceae), also known as Miami mist, is one of only four species in this rather large genus (159 species in North America according to the USDA Plants Database) found in Missouri. Though the flowers are small, their deeply fringed petals are quite striking. The late Dan Tenaglia¹ notes at his Missouriplants.com website that the species is limited in Missouri to the extreme eastern portions of the state—the plant shown here was one of several I saw in rich, bottomland forest along Big Creek at Sam A. Baker State Park in Missouri’s southeastern Ozark Highlands.
¹ Dan Tenaglia was not only an expert botanist but a enthusiastic cyclist. He died in February 2007 after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle. Dan’s wife has kept Missouriplants.com up and running since then in honor of his passion for plants. You can help support its maintenance by making a donation to the “Dan Tenaglia Foundation”: 1416 Victoria Avenue, Opelika, Alabama 36801.
This particular woods is one of the richest I’ve seen in the state, and in the past two years I’ve featured a number of interesting plants (Phlox bifida and Tradescantia longipes), invertebrates (Drosphila sp., Magicicada sp., Calosoma scrutator, Pleuroloma flavipes, Graphisurus triangulifer, G. fasciatus, Arrhenodes minutus, Neoclytus scutellaris, Corydalus cornutus and Panorpus helena) and even snakes (Crotalus horridus and Agkistrodon contortrix phaeogaster) from there. This year marks the third consecutive birthday that I’ve visited these woods, and since I’ve found something I’ve never seen before each time (hint: just wait till you see what I still have coming from there!), I have a feeling the trend will continue next year as well.
Copyright © Ted C. MacRae 2012