Mystery Flora: Sweetest Bud

How’s everyone? Are my American readers enjoying their weather? I hear most of ya’ll are freezing. Here in Seattle, it’s dark and dreary. Even if you’re in a happier hemisphere, I’ll bet you’d be down with some flowers. Happily, I have some very sweet buds from western Oregon for ye.

Image shows a mossy scene with wee purple buds growing from it.
Mystery Flora I

These tiny delights were gracing the trailside at Proxy Falls, Oregon. I was a little surprised – it was early October, not exactly a notable time for new flowers in the Cascades. I’m wondering if these are super-late bloomers or if they’re confused due to anthropogenic climate change. If ya’ll can figure out what they are from buds and leaves, then we’ll know. Yay, knowledge!

A closer view of the same buds. The leaves are narrow and smooth: the buds are ridged.
Mystery flora II

Shakespeare once wrote that “loathsome canker lives in sweetest bud,” but I don’t think these buds have got anything like that going on. They seem absolutely perfect.

Crop of the previous image, showing the buds more clearly.
Mystery flora III

I’ve mentioned before how much I love the Pacific Northwest for both its geology and its flora. It’s awesome to have flowers going on nearly year-round.

Same buds viewed from the top.
Mystery Flora IV

I hope these little lovelies have brightened your day, my darlings.

Mystery Flora: Sweetest Bud

8 thoughts on “Mystery Flora: Sweetest Bud

  1. rq

    A wild morning glory? That’s my instant guess, with no time to google-fu properly. :) Could be a bumper bloom, actually, not necessarily weather confusion. *shrug* Plants. Who understands them?

  2. 3

    Buds are close, but leaves are all wrong for Morning Glories. I almost want to say it’s a Lewis’ Monkeyflower but the buds aren’t quite right and the leaves too shiny. What is it!

  3. 4

    Well, at first glance I thought of Gentiana, but they are always blue. So I checked out the other genera in the family (Gentianacea) and came up with Centaurium, and looking at species in Oregon, I think it is Centaurium erythraea, which looks like a pink Gentian. I agree that the buds are exquisite, fluted and slightly twisted–very different from the flowers when they are open. Once some of the flowers are open, I doubt that I would even notice how beautiful the buds are.

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