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Mystery Flora: Las Flores Amarillas Encantadoras

You know, until I started writing this post and decided I wanted to do Spanish rather than English, I never know that “amarillo” means “yellow.” Yellow, Texas. Doesn’t have quite the same ring.

Interesting. Here’s some beautiful yellow flowers for you to identify.

Mystery Flowers I

I know, no fair. But these will probably be easy, so try your hand from this shot first. You’re looking across the wetlands at North Creek Park, so think stuff that grows in marshes in the northwestern United States. While you’re at it, admire the drumlin in the background. It’s pretty much the only topographic relief available.

And here are your macros. You knew I wouldn’t deny you macros, right?

Mystery Flowers II

You really should click to embiggen this one. That center bit is wild. Also, the white splotches. Not all of the beautiful yellow flowers had them. I’m still not sure what causes it.

Amarillo, it turns out, was likely named for its beautiful yellow flowers. It’s got the nickname “Yellow Rose of Texas,” but the flowers in question are oodles of wildflowers. I’ve never actually seen flowers in Amarillo. All I’ve seen is the Big Texan, which was my favorite restaurant on the drive between Arizona and Indiana. Now that’s a steakhouse, people. And it’s got a great big stuffed grizzly bear in the lobby, or at least did have when I was there as a kid. The grizzly had a bald patch from where kids pet it. And its fur was slightly yellow, which is appropriate, considering where it now resides. El Oso Amarillo de Amarillo. Somebody should write it a ballad.

Mystery Flowers III

Right. Flowers. These grow up through the water. This shouldn’t have surprised me – I mean, hello, wetlands, but it still did. I love that about plants round here. They’ll grow through anything. And bloom on their way to the surface, apparently. I actually gently tugged on one of those blooms to see if it was really attached, and indeed it was. Awesome. I love wetlands.

Mystery Flowers IV

I’ve never been a big fan of amarillo, personally, but these are starting to make me a bit fond of flores amarillas poco. How could you look at those sweeping swathes of yellow against the vigorous green, bend down close and see how complex they are, and not feel at least a little fondness?

Also, there were some very awesome flores amarillas blooming. I’m going to give you a bonus mystery flower. It’s going to be a tough one, because I rather suspect you’ve identified this before. Let’s see how you do with just a bud.

Bonus Mystery Flower

How neat is that? This is one of the many reasons I’m glad I dragged my intrepid companion up there. I think this is one of my favorite shots of a flower ever. And wait until tomorrow, when we do the big reveal and I show you their full glory. I’ll bet Amarillo doesn’t have anything half so awesome.

Cue Texans protesting they do, too, in 3…2…1… Do it. Give me a reason to go back out there, so that I can once again savor the magnificence that is the Big Texan. Yum!

Comments

  1. StevoR says

    First shot looks like soursobs which are a weed in my garden and many others locally. (Trying and failing to recall the correct botanical name for that. Not really a wetland plant though it does grow mostly in winter here in South Oz.)

  2. says

    Love the post.

    The flowers look very similar to English buttercups and kingcups – the genus Ranunculus.

    “Little yellow flowers” would be “Pequeños flores amarillos” in Spanish. “Poco” is little as in “not very much”. So I’m un poco pedantic.

  3. aspidoscelis says

    Yeah, the first dudes are Ranunculus. That last one is in the genus Mimulus. Alas, I don’t know which species either is without, like, effort.

  4. Trebuchet says

    Hmm, Oxalis or Ranunculus? Beats me, they both seem to match when I look in Wikipedia. The bonus looks as if it may be some sort of orchid.

    • StevoR says

      Oxalis – that’s the scientific name for soursobs or at least a key part of it!

  5. Adrian says

    I’ll stick my neck out and say Field Buttercup, Ranunculus pratense, but I can’t see why they are growing in water. Has there been a lot of rain recently or are they drowning?
    Marsh Marigold and Kingcups are usually more “robust” than these flowers. A shot showing the leaves would help. The only leaves I can see seem to be Buttercup type.

    • Adrian says

      Meant to add that the white spots may be rain damage. The spots also appear as the flowers age until they appear white.

      • Trebuchet says

        Rain damage sounds right, although I must confess my first thought was guano. I second the motion on the leaves.

    • rq says

      Definitely buttercup, Ranunculus etc.
      I know around here they tend to grow in marshy fields that have a tendency to flood in the spring, maybe that’s why they’re in the water? They’re not ordinarily aquatic flowers, though.
      The bonus mystery flower – still out on that one. Will delve more deeply tomorrow.

    • rq says

      Buttercups definitely, Ranunculus etc.
      Around here they tend to grow in somewhat marshy fields that have a tendency to flood around this time in spring (when the flowers are in bloom), that’s probably why they’re in water – as far as I know, they’re actually aquatic flowers.
      Still out on the bonus flower – will delve more deeply tomorrow. Having a hard time matching it to a Mimulus, though.

  6. Lyle says

    How many wildflowers show up in a Texas spring depends on the rain in the winter. 2 weeks ago driving north from LLano the hills were covered by yellow flowers. It is a bit unusual for flowers to last this long in Texas but perhaps they are making up for not being around last year at all due to the drought.