Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wild Potato Vine

This is the flower of the Wild Potato Vine, Ipomoea pandurata, a large creamy white flower with an alluring burgundy throat. The nectar has drawn a throng of ants that seem to be wandering aimlessly rather than heading directly for the prize.

When a field is predominately green, something big and white is bound to catch your eye. At least once a year, these flowers make me think a piece of trash has blown into the field. The bloom can be seen from quite a long distance.

The red stemmed vines can travel a long way through the grass and produce a succession of blooms.

As one bloom fades, another is ready to take its place. There seems to be a cluster of ants at the calyx base. I wonder if they are tunneling through to get at the nectar?

This plant is supported by a very large, tuberous root. It seems to be a reliable bloomer despite any abnormal weather conditions.

I find the contrast between the white petal and dark throat to be very attractive. It looks like the entrance to some alien world.

This reminds me of the scene in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” when the aliens are seen milling around the entrance to their ship.

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