Photograph - Photograph
A close-up front view of a Bartam's Ixia flower in rural St. Johns County, Florida with a drop of dew on a petal.
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This rare perennial wildflower of grassy, wet to mesic flatwoods is found only in northeast Florida.
Appearing grass-like and nondescript when not in bloom, the stem is 20-40 cm (8-16 in.) tall. Basal leaves are few and narrow, shorter than the stem. Cauline leaves are less than 9 cm (3-1/2 in.) long and scattered on the stem. Flowers are blue-violet, up to 6.3 cm (2-1/2 in.) across. Each flower opens only once early in the morning mostly during the spring and early summer, then closes by mid-morning. Bartram's ixia will bloom at other times of the year, especially following a fire. The style body is white, clavate and branching towards the tip, with three purple, flattened, fan shaped stigma lobes. The three conspicuous stamens are yellow with elongated anthers. The fruit is a green capsule 2 cm (0.8 in.) long.
The six tepals are broader and less pointed than the fall-flowering ixia, or celestial lily.
(Subject description from the artist's Wild Florida Photo website www.wildflphoto.com)
January 15th, 2016
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