Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A white Cardinal-flower

Photo: Bill Fisher

Bill Fisher, Director of the Crawford County Park District, sent along a photo that really grabbed my eye. It is a snow white Cardinal-flower, Lobelia cardinalis, and as can be seen by its normally colored cohorts, this is atypical. Bill made the photo a day or two ago at their Lowe-Volk Park, where it is growing in the "pollination station".

If you're in the area, stop in and see it. Might be a while before you see another. I can't tell you how many hundreds or thousands of these plants that I've seen over the years, but never a white one that I can recall. Such a form is rare, but occurs with enough regularity to have an official designation: Lobelia cardinalis forma alba. It'll be interesting to see if white ones pop up in this patch in future years.


Anonymous said...

I have never seen that, but several years ago. I did find a white flowering Great Blue Lobelia. It was at CJ Brown Reservoir near the edge of the marshy area below the dam, near our prairie area.

Lisa at Greenbow said...

How exciting. It is quite beautiful.

Donald Comis said...

On a recent tour of Guy Denny's prairie in Fredericktown, people from the Brown Family Environmental Center at Kenyon College mentioned that they thought that butterfly populations were dismal, way down, this year, possibly due to the cool spring. They also thought the cool spring reduced flower blooming at this prairie. Have you noticed anything like this? From your post of your recent prairie visit it doesn't sound like the flower blooming was reduced where you visited, or were you farther south than Fredericktown?