Observing Flowers

With Spring beginning in mid-March, wildflowers will be coming to Prescott Farm. Spring ephemerals come early in the season and many are smallish on the forest floor. Milkweed, asters, and other flowers will take their turns through the warmer months. You won't find the desert flowers pictured below at Prescott Farm, but looking for the characteristics they illustrate will help identify the plants that grow here.

This year's flowers make next year's seeds. As you observe flowers, please help everyone see them by staying on the trails and leaving them where they grow.

Keep the flower in focus. With any automatically focusing camera, close small things and things that move with even small breezes--like flowers--can be hard to focus on. You can use your hand or a blank paper directly behind a flower to help your camera's autofocus recognize it as the subject. To reduce the effect of wind moving a flower, you can gently hold the stem to keep it still.

Take a picture into the flower. These pictures can show the parts of the flower which can help with identification. For example, flowers in the mustard family (brassicaceae) have four petals (center) while lilies (liliaceae) have three (right). The Desert Mallow (left) has five petals.

Take a picture from the side of the flower. These pictures can show how the flower is attached to the stem and if there are any sepals. Sepals are the leaf-like parts around the outside bottom of the flower.

Take a picture of the leaves. Some flowers have one kind of leaves, while others have both leaves along the stem and basal leaves at the bottom of the plant.

Include a picture of the whole plant. This helps show the growth pattern and how all the parts fit together. For example, if you took pictures of different leaves, a photo of the whole plant would help someone figure out which were on the stem and at the base. This is a great time to include something for scale too.

Photo Credit: All photos by aspring and in the public domain.

Posted by aspring aspring, March 23, 2021 19:45



Great journal post -- super important points about multiple photos per plant. I really don't think the plants mind when their photos are taken.

Posted by sambiology 3 months ago (Flag)

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