July 23, 2012

The Sunflower's Swirling Sepals

How is it that I've never before noticed the extravagant movement of the sepals protecting the emerging sunflower? This summer I'm trying a couple of new varieties, Lemon Queen and Red Sun, so perhaps my long-favored plant, Holiday, which I'm not growing this summer, has more sedate flower parts.

The spiky sepals look as though they are swaying to underwater ocean currents; I can imagine this as a new type of sea anemone.

The purplish sepals make a small package nestled in the large ruffled leaves.

From a sea creature to a desert cactus, these pointed green spikes take on different characters, remind me of different climates and environments.

As they spread apart, the sepals allow a Red Sun sunflower to unfold its petals, opening a special gift.

And the flowers are a gift indeed, to the eye and to the bees which busily gather their pollen.

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