Studies in Green ~ Part V

Mountain Laurel's beautiful trickery
Mountain Laurel's beautiful trickery

You can see the flower detail better here (and read a bit of the folk lore, botany and history of use) for this common Appalachian flowering shrub that is just now coming into full bloom on the Parkway.

The bowl-shaped flowers have spring loaded male parts just waiting for a bumblebee to land on the pink-white dish: he gets a sip of nectar, the plant uses the bee’s mobility to spread it’s pollen to a distant bush where sperm (wrapped up in an intricate pollen case) will meet egg.

As far as green goes, these leathery leaves of a shrub sometimes known as “ivy” are generally very dark green, the more so because the leaves are so thick and don’t let any light pass through. That, and the fact that they more often grow in the deep shade of forests together with Rhododendrons, Galax, Hobblebush and other tough dark greens.

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