Does anyone recognize this unusual wildflower?
As you can imagine, I have seen a lot of different wildflowers in North America and Mesoamerica, but never this one. I live in the Southern Blue Ridge Mountains. While taking my morning walk with the Three Canine Musketeers this morning, I noticed these incredibly beautiful blooms that had appeared over night after we finally received long overdue rainfall. The blooms are about the size of a tulip and thick like a tulip.
It is on a steep bank in a small clearing within massive hardwood trees. The location only gets sunlight mid-day.
Notice that the anthers are hanging down BENEATH THE FLOWER PETALS. The petals remained folded even when the flowers are mature. The anthers are much larger than are typical for flowers this size.
If you have any idea what this flower is, please drop me a note in the comments section.
UPDATE: Yes, it is a Turk’s Cap Lilly, but it is not the Turk’s Cap Lilly typically seen in flower nurseries. That plant is from Eurasia. The same name was given to this flower, that is indigenous to the Appalachian Mountains. According to descriptions on websites, it grows very slow and only at certain locations . . . hence the reason that I have never seen it before. Even the few nurseries that have successfully cultivated this wild plant have flowers that are little different. Notice that the anthers are red-orange. The cultivated varieties have brown anthers.
Thank you for all your help!
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Richard Thornton is a professional architect, city planner, author and museum exhibit designer-builder. He is today considered one of the nation’s leading experts on the Southeastern Indians. However, that was not always the case. While at Georgia Tech Richard was the first winner of the Barrett Fellowship, which enabled him to study Mesoamerican architecture and culture in Mexico under the auspices of the Institutio Nacional de Antropoligia e Historia. Dr. Roman Piňa-Chan, the famous archaeologist and director of the Museo Nacional de Antropologia, was his fellowship coordinator. For decades afterward, he lectured at universities and professional societies around the Southeast on Mesoamerican architecture, while knowing very little about his own Creek heritage. Then he was hired to carry out projects for the Muscogee-Creek Nation in Oklahoma. The rest is history.Richard is the Tribal Historic Preservation Officer for the KVWETV (Coweta) Creek Tribe and a member of the Perdido Bay Creek Tribe. In 2009 he was the architect for Oklahoma’s Trail of Tears Memorial at Council Oak Park in Tulsa. He is the president of the Apalache Foundation, which is sponsoring research into the advanced indigenous societies of the Lower Southeast.
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