Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Turks Cap Lily - Not!

Lilium Superbum - The Turks Cap Lily


There are lessons to be learned in just about all phases of life. History, or in this case botany, can teach that. Keeping an open mind might be one such lesson. Take the case of the elusive Turks Cap Lily. Wildflowers like birds can have "local" names. Thats why both are scientifically identified by latin names. Some time back I posted some wildflower pictures and identified one of them, found in a native prairie preserve, as a "Turks Cap Lily." Every one around here called these wildflowers Turks Caps, so I was absolutely certainly positive that's what they were. Thats why when several commenters gently informed that they were Michigan Lilies I replied that they were seriously mistaken. The ideological rigidity of todays politics come to mind doesn't it?






Michigan Lily



Lilium michiganense is an attractive plant that adapts well to flower gardens. The Michigan Lily can be distinguished from Lilium superbum (Turk's Cap Lily) as follows: 1) the former species has a more northern distribution in Illinois, 2) the anthers of the former are ½" or less, while the anthers of the latter species are ½" or longer, 3) the former has yellow bulbs, while the latter has white bulbs, 4) the tips of the tepals of the former curve backward toward the base of the flower, while in the latter species they curve backward considerably beyond the base of the flower, and 5) specimens of the latter species may have a conspicuous 6-pointed green star at the base of the flower, although it is not always present. Somehow I'd been unaware of the difference. Oops!


Today, I wish I could remember the names of the people I'd self righteously "corrected" by email. I'd send them a belated apology. Or maybe the title of this post might catch their eye... but I doubt it. In any case, let's all try to keep more of an open mind..... I'm working on it..... :)

20 comments:

  1. I'm sure we all wish we could retract certain things we've said over the years. Actually, I'm glad when people correct my mistakes, especially the botanical ones. I love to learn.

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  2. no matter what they're called, they're lovely. :)

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  3. I agree with TexWisgirl... no matter what, just lovely! But you are so good to try for that more open mind...something we all must do at all times!
    How's dear doggie boy?
    My little cat is sleeping...and purring ... on my lap as I type. That's not something my German Shepherds could ever quite do!
    Blessings!
    Ann

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  4. They are pretty whatever their names are. Such a beautiful shade of orangey/peach in that second photo. I really like that color.

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  5. They are related..sisters of sorts..you would really have to have a good eye to tell the difference or a degree in Botany. Next time just call them Lilies:)

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  6. I had the same problem when I posted a gopher, which I called a Minnesota gopher. I receive all sorts of advice at to what it really was but then on of my former students said it was a 13 striped gopher and she was right. I don't remember all the other names but some were just made up names.

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  7. Never too old to learn something new, are we? I think I've mis-identified more than once as well. They're really pretty no matter what they're called!

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  8. What a lovely speciman. I haven't moved my books yet.

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  9. An open mind...such a terrible thing to lose. Oh, wait...it's "fool me once..."

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  10. I agree with the others they are both beautiful lilies, regardless of their names.
    Troutbirder, I give you credit- the world would be a better place if others would stand up and admit when they have erred as you have done- that is a real sign of courage, leadership, and maturity. It's not about if someone makes a mistake (everyone does!), its how someone take steps to correct that mistake which reveals their character- bravo!

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  11. Oh boy, the devil is in the details, isn't he!

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  12. 'A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.' Something similar could be said about the beauty of lilies. I would enjoy both of these.

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  13. Don't worry Troutbirder it is all clear as mud now that you pointed out the differences. You see if we knew everything there was to know what fun would life be? We learn when you or anyone else corrects us and it can humble us indeed but the bigger truth is we learn and hey-that makes life fun! Smiling thinking of you!

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  14. Forgot to say Happy Holidays!

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  15. Beautiful no matter what you call them, but I appreciate the botany lesson.

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  16. A beautiful lily regardless of name. Doesn't sound to be much difference between the two species. I've been corrected so many times re identification of something or other (plant, bird, insect, reptile) that I don't even work up much indignation anymore.

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  17. Those are beautiful and I really don't think I have ever seen them before.

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  18. I love the subtleties of taxonomy, particularly because accurate identification requires such attention to detail and place-based knowledge. Still, as Kathy H (and The Bard) says, "a rose by any other name..."

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  19. They're so similar. It's tough to distinguish the difference, and I agree they're lovely, no matter what. This would be a great entry for the "Lessons Learned" meme on Plant Postings. Thanks for your recent visits!

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  20. These flowers are really exquisite!

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