Sunday, March 30, 2008

Raggedy Robin Spreads Its Wings

Bulbocodium vernum wastes no time in opening its fragile little blooms; with the first kiss of pale, watery sunlight it throws its flowers open. This is a monotypic plant; the only species in its genus. Bulbocodium was comfortably sitting in the genus colchicum, until somebody noticed that its petals are completely separate; they aren't fused at the base into a tube like all the rest of the colchicums... well that was enough for the taxonomists, who banished it all by itself to another genus. You would think that looking like a colchicum, and even being loaded with exactly the same unique toxin as all the rest of the colchicums (colchicine, which is still used to treat gout) would be enough qualifications to stay in the colchicum club, but I guess not.Taxonomists are such exclusionary people; I think too many of them were the last people chosen for dodgerball.
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Thanks for all of your great posts and pictures - has helped get me through this winter!
What a unique little bloom. It's beautiful.
Anony... we all needed to help each other get through this year (they're predicting snow flurries here tomorrow night)!
Nancy... it is so fleeting, but it is one of my favorite little bulbs; very unique.

Gorgeous photo! It's glowing ...
Olivia... the sun was just starting to go down, and shone through the flower.

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