Mystery Flora: Translucent

Yes, indeedy, we’re going with another mystery flower this soon. It’s because the bloody birds aren’t cooperating, the arthropods aren’t out in force yet, and I’m too busy with a dozen other projects to go back through old photos at the moment. You’ll love these beauties, though, I promise.

I have no idea if they’re natives or if they’re something S rescued from a garden and brought home, but they are definitely making the area around our concrete retaining wall more interesting.

Image shows two blooms in profile. They are a transluscent lavender-gray, with green centers and projecting anters and stamens. There's a bit of gray broken concrete slab behind them, which is part of the retaining wall.
Mystery Flora I

It’s not often I run across flowers with nearly-clear petals. These barely even seem to be living things: they rather look like unfinished plastic flowers, waiting to be painted brilliant colors.

Image shows a single bloom in profile.
Mystery Flora II

But they are indubitably living plants. They’re so transparent that I didn’t realize at first they’re a trio, not a duo. Here you can see the entire bunch:

Image shows the whole plant. There are two tall blooms and one other close to the ground. A sword fern is growing beside it.
Mystery Flora III

That sword fern seems to like them very much. It adds a sweet bit of extra green. As far as I can tell, this plant hasn’t got much in the way of leaves yet, but I do love its vivid green stems.

So, my darlings, who among you knows what we’ve got here?

Mystery Flora: Translucent

10 thoughts on “Mystery Flora: Translucent

  1. rq

    There’s actually four in that last photo.
    The translucency is due to the half-ripened state of the greenish fruit in the center, which means the flower is half-wilted and loses its colour, leaving the petals translucent and extra-fragile.
    Going through wildflowers, so far, no real luck. The spring beauty was a candidate, as were several anemone variants, but for various reasons, I don’t think these are your beaut. The mayapple would be a possibility, if it weren’t for the pretty much complete lack of leaves on your specimen.
    So, I am still looking. :) But I’m starting to think it’s a garden escapee / rescuee.

  2. 3

    I’m going to go with hellebore far enough past its peak that it’s lost many of its distinctive features. We’re at the right time for blooming, and the stalks and flowers are the right shape.

  3. rq

    (Oddly enough, there’s not a lot of photos of half-wilted flowers online, nor any pointers on how to identify the half-wilted ones. :D)

  4. 8

    I know. I spent a bunch of time asking myself, “So, what would it look like if this were beaten away by the wind and the rain?” You’d think it would be helpful in identification guides at least to see buds and blown blooms.

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