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My World: Flower Portraits

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
I posted this image in another thread a moment ago, but I should have posted here. Can you delete the other thread?


Cistus Ladanifer, Apis Mellifera Ligustica
I don't really have a good answer, but your Cistus flowers (Rock Rose) are very similar to poppies and anemones in the fact that their petals are very thin and delicate and paper-like. Both the Anemones and the poppy get these wrinkles, so maybe because they are very fragile. The fact that some had spots
and others not, can be 2 species beside each other of sometimes flowers turn back to their more common type. I know tulips do that all the time.

Jerome Marot

Well-known member
The fact that some had spots and others not, can be 2 species

Well... As usually in nature, it is a bit more complicated than that.

Indeed, for the botanist the presence and absence of dots are used to differentiate between two species. Cistus ladanifer has red dots, cistus monspeliensis has no dots, for example. Both plants are considered to be endemic in the region, so we could say the red dots define one and not the other. The rest of the plants shows other small differences, e.g. in the leaves and indeed some of the plants I photographed have broader leaves than the others.

Except that the whole area has been covered by these wild plants over several dozen kilometers for decades and the plants hybridize easily. Also the form of the leaves does not appear to be uniquely related to the dots, while it should be to define the plants botanically. So the definition of "species" is not that easy. One can also say all these plants to be a single species with some variability in their flowers and leaves.

Possibly only a single species was endemic thousands of years ago and another one was brought over (by men or otherwise) and then the bees carry the pollen from one to the others. Possibly the two have cohabited since a longer time and the variability is an advantage and will continue as long as the conditions do not change.

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This plant does this, I have no idea why. Note that not all exemplars exhibit crumpled petals and some exemplars have red dots at the base of the petals.

I wonder whether crumpled petals favors a particular species of pollinator. We need the UV and light polarization pattern if any of the smooth versus crinkled petals and observation of the behavior of a variety of local pollinators.


Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
The last of Mother’s Day Flowers from our daughter in law!


Asher Kelman: “Sunflower in Green Glass”