Wednesday, May 28, 2014


Catalpa flower

Catalpa Flower

Be quick

Enjoy the Catalpa’s beauty
For its beauty is too brief.
A mass of white flowers in May
And then no more for a year
A flower at first sight
Like a cotton ball then an orchid

Do I see
In its beauty
The eye of a witch
Delicate and inviting
Bewitching all comers
Its odor quite enchanting

Until, I find this strumpet stings
A wasp buried in its trumpet
This bitch just bit my nose

That brings me to my senses

One of the prettiest flowers in Kansas grows on the Catalpa tree, native to Kansas and much of the south. The flower gives the appearance of a white Iris or orchid.

Put your nose up to the blossom and smell the fragrant odor. But beware, the blossom attracts all sorts of insects and especially wasp whose bodies are perfectly matched for the flower.

Catalpa tree along stream bank, Butler County, Kansas

It is found along stream banks, lowland wooded areas, requiring moist but well-drained soils. It is an ornamental tree and therefore is used in landscaping. It flowers in May and June and by October produces long seed pods.

Catalpa blossom, Butler County, Kansas

Another interesting feature are the large tear-drop leaves, which can be 6 to 12 inches long, and almost as wide. The color is bright green. In fall the leaves turn dark brown or black from frost and drop to the ground soon thereafter.

Catalpa flower and wasp

Learn more Kansas Wild Flowers

Friday, May 16, 2014

Showy Evening Primrose

The flower of the Showy Evening Primrose opens in the evening or on overcast days, remaining open through the morning but closing during the heat of the day. Hawk moths, hummingbirds, and bees pollinate the flowers. The plant flowers in May and June and is found along roadside and in hills in dry rocky soil. The flower has four petals and is white with an occasional pinkish tinge.

Showy Evening Primrose
This image was taken on a roadside in southern Butler County near Douglass, Kansas in early May 2014.

Cucumber Beetle, Showy Evening Primrose
 The flower can make good food for the Cucumber Beetle. It can also take on a pinkish hue.