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Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Opening in the p.m.

The wonderful flowers of Wavyleaf Soap Plant (Chlorogalum pomeridianum var. divaricatum), photographed in the coastal grassland on Bodega Head on 17 June 2013.

Here's an even closer view:

I wasn't the only one interested in these flowers:

Were the ants searching for nectar?

If you'd like to learn more about Wavyleaf Soap Plant, there's a great write-up at this U.S. Forest Service website.  

One of the things I enjoyed learning about most was the species name.  I've always been curious about it so I was glad to finally learn about its origin.  The species name, "pomeridianum," derives from "post meridiem."  This is a Latin phrase for afternoon post = after and meridiem = midday.  The first two letters of this phrase led to the abbreviation p.m.  So why was this phrase attached to the plant?  The flowers tend to open late in the day or in the evening.

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