Monday, May 28, 2012

Scarlet Gaura: Beeblossom, butterflyweed

Scarlet gaura blossoms,
bending in the wind.  
Delicate and beautiful, Scarlet Gaura is also a very tiny prairie wildflower — and one that's tricky to isolate and photograph among all the other grasslands plants with a small point-and-shoot camera.

The butterfly-like (bee or spider-shaped?) flowers of Scarlet Gaura are the palest pink — even white, in the summer glare — when they first open, and then deepen in tone to rich dark scarlet as they age.

Scarlet Gaura is a kind of evening primrose, and although these pictures were taken mid-afternoon, some sources say the best time to look for them is in the evening.

Look carefully — these plants were less than six inches high, growing along a dry roadside.

And these pictures, blurry and distracting as they may be, are the best shots I have...

I look forward to returning to Grasslands National Park in this or a future summer to try again with a better set up and lens.

Tangle of Scarlet Gaura 
Scarlet Gaura stalks among other plants
Prairie Wildflower: Scarlet Gaura or Butterflyweed (Gaura coccinea) 
Location: Grasslands National Park, Saskatchewan, Canada.
Photo Date: July 28 and 29, 2011. 


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