Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Late purple

Three late flowers from high bog fringes:

Devilsbit Scabious:

Marsh Thistle:

And Knapweed:

I wonder if it's a coincidence that they're all purple.


Gill said...

Those are superb portrait shots - don't tell me you finally got a shaft of sunshine?

No, I don't think it's a coincidence at all that they're all purple: throughout the year flowers tend to come in waves of all-white, all-yellow, all-purple - well almost! My guess is they are pollinated by the same group of insects, that happen to see best in that part of the spectrum; this may of course be affected by light levels changing through the year.

Stuart said...

No sunshine. Those were taken in very poor light and massaged with Photoshop. The Scabious is a composite picure made from 2 exposures: one where the front florets were in focus and a second where the furthest florets were in focus. The two images were then 'healed' together , again using photoshop.

Most certainly, the purple flowers are of a colour that attracts pollinators: when they are in season (about July to September) they are well visited by bumblebees and hoverflies.

I was musing more about the predominance of the purple colour now that most pollinators are gone for the year. One of the ideas I considered was that of visibility in poor light (draw any remaining stragglers in from distance).

Yoke, said...

I like your reasoning.
Another purple one in flower (here) is Red Clover, Trifolium pratense.

The Devilsbit scabious were in flower here last month, and mostly blue. (although I must admit the blue ones were the ones I saw early October in Glengarriff Woods, and the purple ones I saw round Halloween at the Bantry Bay coast,
what it is in the purple colour I do not know, but I guess that the shape of flower also says something of how to survive autumnal storms?
The late Oxe-eye daisies here don't even spread/open the petals anymore, because of the weather.

Great photos of all the 3 subjects.

Gill said...

"The two images were then 'healed' together , again using photoshop." cunning plan - never tried that.

"I was musing more about the predominance of the purple colour now that most pollinators are gone for the year."
I suspect that it's partly just that these flowers already "know" to be purple - it would be even more extraordinary if they changed colour later in the season - but fascinating :-)

As for the visibility in poor light, you may well be right, remembering that insects see in a very different spectrum from us - lots of UV, which blue-purple flowers may well excite. My guess is they look very bright in UV, like some white flowers.

Neil said...

Nice photos