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The lovely flowers embarrass me,
They make me regret I am not a bee –

         ~Emily Dickinson


  Flowers are, of course, wondrous, the birds and the bees and all that, the pollen grain germinating on the receptive stigma with the pollen tube then delivering sperm nuclei to the ovules below, with the thus fertilized eggs becoming seeds surrounded by the ovary ripening into the fruit. Flowers may be inconspicuous, but they may also may be beauteous; here are a few captured by camera this past week.


The flower of a Composite


Lilac blooming in late summer


  The first image above shows us that composites (once the Compositae family, now the Asteraceae) of rays and cones, each flowers in their own right. The second shows that flowers sometimes surprise, this lilac is blooming in my backyard now, and it smell is springtime renewed.


  When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one, and a lily with the other. ~Chinese Proverb


Mimosa flower shimmers in NYC




Coleus in NYC with flowers and foliage


  The next image above, through some accident of exposure shows mimosa in its shimmering beauty on a New York City street. The second, of coleus in New York City, reminds us that coleus is not only about foliage – the flowers are lovely lavender complements.


  The flower is the poetry of reproduction. It is an example of the eternal seductiveness of life. ~Jean Giraudoux


New York ironweed on the High Line


Cosmos cultivar


  Above is New York ironweed in full electric blue flower, side-by-side with its future fruits and seeds (Ashley Kulhanek will elaborate on ironweeds in an upcoming bygl-alert). The second image is of cosmos, in the form of a cultivar I was not familiar with until seeing it last week and just now reviewing its probable identity via internet resources. A ‘Double Click’ cosmos?


  'Tis my faith that every flower
  Enjoys the air it breathes!

     ~William Wordsworth


  And, of course, flowers always are an effort to soothe our sense of loss, seen here at the FDNY Museum 9/11 Memorial and at the Reflection of Absence 9/11 Memorial.


FDNY memorial


Rose at the Reflected Abscence memorial


  Flowers engage all our senses, the scientific and the aesthetic. As in these final two “definitions”…


  “Flower: Floral leaves grouped together on a stem and adapted for sexual reproduction in the angiosperms”

            ~ Robbins et al, Botany


  “The flower is a leaf mad with love.”

            ~ Goethe